Mexicans suspend Liga MX after gruesome fan violence in Queretaro

March 7 – The Liga MX match Queretaro vs Atlas was suspended after horrific violence in and around the stadium, with reports of multiple casualties and dozens of injured fans. 

The game in the Mexican top flight pitted champions Atlas against Queretaro, but after an hour violence broke out in the stands.

Social media videos showed images of fans being dragged across the concourse, stripped naked and repeatedly kicked, whipped and beaten, before being left unconscious, and in some cases still being beaten.

The images were more akin to a Mexican drug cartel TV drama than a football match.

“I strongly condemn today’s violence at the Corregidora Stadium,” wrote Mauricio Kuri, the governor of Querétaro State, on Twitter. “I have given instructions to apply the law with all its consequences.”

He said 26 people had been hospitalised, with three released and two in serious condition.

Liga MX said in a statement that it had begun “an in-depth investigation into what happened in the stands, on the pitch and outside the building during the match.”

“Liga MX will undertake an in-depth revision of our security protocols,” said Mikel Arriola in a video posted on Twitter. “We strongly condemn what happened tonight and our commitment is to act so that there is no impunity in the face of these unfortunate events.”

All Sunday’s Liga MX matches were suspended. The Mexican league has a recent history of violence. Last year fan violence overshadowed the Guadalajara derby and in 2019 Querétaro vs Atlético de San Luis was suspended after fans were injured in a brawl.

In a statement, regional governing body Concacaf said: “The shocking acts of vandalism and violence that occurred last night in Queretaro, Mexico, have no place in football or society. The thoughts of everyone at Concacaf are with the victims of these awful events, and their families.”

The violence, reportedly instigated by barra factions, will be of grave concern to both Concacaf and FIFA with Mexico co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, along with the United States and Canada. FIFA said that “the violence at the Corregidora stadium was unacceptable and intolerable”, condemning “the barbaric incident” and encouraging “the local authorities to bring swift justice to those responsible”.

Mexico has hosted the World Cup on two previous occasions – in 1970 and 1986 – without violent incident.

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