Mexican soccer fight: At least 22 injured in a brawl at a game between Queretaro and Atlas in central Mexico

MEXICO CITY — At least 22 people were injured, two seriously, when fans fought during a soccer game in central Mexico on Saturday.

The game between hosts Queretaro and Guadalajara’s Atlas – reigning champions of the league – was halted in the 62nd minute when several fights broke out in the stands. Security personnel opened the gates to the field to allow fans, including women and children, to exit the stands.

Visiting Atlas players quickly fled to the dressing room, as did some from Queretaro. Other Queretaro players, including Uruguayan goalkeeper Washington Aguerre, stayed close to the bench trying to calm fans down.

After a few minutes, some of the fighters moved onto the field, where they continued punching and kicking. Some individuals were armed with chairs and metal bars.

A fan could be seen drawing a knife to cut through the nets of a goal. Others destroyed one side’s bench and some fought in the tunnel to the field.

“So far there have been no reports of deaths; 22 injured, nine of them taken to General Hospital and two of them in critical condition,” said the Queretaro State Civil Protection Agency. “The rest is stable. It should be noted that all of the injured are male and at the moment four have been confirmed to be from the state of Jalisco.”

Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco.

The league condemned the violence in a message on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Arriola said play would not resume on Saturday. He said those responsible for the lack of security at the stadium would be punished.

Atlas has also had issues with violence among his fans lately. Last year there was a scuffle in the stands between the “classic” and crosstown rivals Chivas.

“Unfortunately, what happens in Queretaro also happens in my country,” said Rafael Márquez, a former Mexico national team captain who began his career at Atlas and later became a coach.

Descriptive videos and photos circulated on social networks that showed apparent fans motionless on the ground, sometimes naked and covered in blood.

Queretaro Governor Mauricio Kuri condemned the violence and said the owners of the Queretaro club must be held accountable for what happened.

“I have given instructions that the law will be applied with all its consequences,” he said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Mexican soccer fight: At least 22 injured in a brawl at a game between Queretaro and Atlas in central Mexico

Dais Johnston

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