Fan violence mars Queretaro vs Atlas, officials say 26 injured; Liga MX sanctions arrive

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Fans of Queretaro and Atlas clashed violently during a Liga MX match in Mexico on Saturday, as local officials in Queretaro said that 26 people were left injured and sanctions have arrived from the Mexican top-flight.

Officials have confirmed that three people remain in a serious condition in hospital.

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The latest update from Mexico is that Queretaro will have to play home games in an empty stadium for one year, while they will not be allowed to have away fans at their games for three years. Queretaro’s senior officials (Gabriel Solares, Adolfo Rios, Greg Taylor and Manuel Velarde) are banned from any future roles with other Liga MX teams.

Liga MX also fined Queretaro $70,000 and ordered the current owners to sell the club back to the former owners, Grupo Caliente, who have until the December 31 2022 to find a new buyer for the club or Liga MX will take control of Queretaro.

The shocking scenes on and off the pitch led to Queretaro vs Atlas being suspended, as fans first brawled in the stands and that fighting made its way to the playing surface.

Players from Atlas ran into the locker room, while some Queretaro players tried to calm down the home fans before retreating.


How did things escalate?

Videos on social media show multiple brawls breaking out in the game between fans of the two teams in Mexico’s top-flight.

The game at Queretaro’s Estadio Corregidora descended into chaos as security staff opened gates for fans to escape the violence.

 


Queretaro v Atlas - Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX
QUERETARO, MEXICO – MARCH 05: Families leave the pitch as fans of Atlas and Queretaro got into violent fights during the 9th round match between Queretaro and Atlas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium on March 5, 2022 in Queretaro, Mexico. The match was suspended on the 60th minute due to violent fights between fans that resulted in many injured. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Here is some footage of the scened which unfolded:


Social media footage showed multiple people were left on the pitch unconscious, while families fled across the pitch to get away from the violent brawls breaking out across the stadium.

Fans could be seen picking up chairs and other objects and hitting rival supporters with them.

What did Liga MX, FIFA say?

Liga MX did not suspend other games going on across the league on Saturday, while the president of Mexico’s top-flight, Mikel Arriola, issued the following statement on the violent scenes:

“Inadmissible and unfortunate violence in the Corregidora stadium in Queretaro. Those responsible for the lack of security in the stadium will be punished in an exemplary manner. The safety of our players and fans is priority. We will keep reporting.”


Queretaro v Atlas - Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX
QUERETARO, MEXICO – MARCH 05: Fans of Atlas and Queretaro fight in the stands during the 9th round match between Queretaro and Atlas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium on March 5, 2022 in Queretaro, Mexico. The match was suspended on the 60th minute due to violent fights between fans resulting in many injured. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Liga MX have since released a statement saying that Sunday’s slate of games are postponed and a full investigation into the scenes in Queretaro are going ahead.

Officials from Queretaro and Atlas have called for “the law to be applied with all its consequences” to those who carried out the violent acts.

FIFA have released the following statement:

“FIFA is shocked at the tragic incident that took place at La Corregidora stadium in the city of Queretaro during the fixture between Queretaro and Atlas. The violence was unacceptable and intolerable. FIFA joins the Mexican Football Association and Concacaf in condemning this barbaric incident and encouraging the local authorities to bring swift justice to those responsible.

“Our thoughts are with all those who suffered its consequences. Once again FIFA would like to stress that violence should have absolutely no place in football and we will continue working with all parties to eradicate it from our game.”


Queretaro v Atlas - Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX
QUERETARO, MEXICO – MARCH 05: Fans fight during the 9th round match between Queretaro and Atlas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium on March 05, 2022 in Queretaro, Mexico. The match was suspended on the 60th minute due to violent fights between fans resulting in many injured. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)