At least 22 people injured in a brawl in a Mexican soccer match

Mexico City (AP) — At least 22 people were injured when fans brawled during a soccer match in Central Mexico on Saturday. Two of them were seriously injured.

The match between host Queretaro and Guadalajara’s Atlas (current league champion) was interrupted in the 62nd minute when multiple battles broke out at the stands. Guards opened the door to the field to allow fans, including women and children, to escape from the stands.

Players who visited the Atlas quickly fled to the locker room, just like players from the Queretaro side. Other Queretaro players, including Uruguay goalkeeper Washington Aguere, stayed near the bench in an attempt to calm the fans.

A few minutes later, some fights moved to the field, where they continued to punch and kick. Some people were armed with chairs and metal rods.

I could see one fan pulling a knife to cut the net of one goal. Others destroyed the bench on one side and some fought in the tunnel to the field.

“So far, no deaths have been reported. Twenty-two were injured, nine of whom were taken to general hospitals and two of whom were seriously injured,” said the Queretaro Civil Protection Agency. “The rest is stable. All the injured are men, and it has been confirmed that four are from Jalisco at this time.”

Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco.

The league blamed the violence in a message on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Ariola said the match will not resume on Saturday. He said the person responsible for the lack of security in the stadium would be punished.

Atlas has also recently had problems with violence among fans. Last year, a “classic” with cross-town rival Chivas saw a brawl on the stand.

“Unfortunately, what’s happening in Queretaro is happening in my country,” said Rafael Marquez, a former captain of the Mexican national team who started his career at Atlas and later became a coach.

Graphic videos and photos are distributed on social networks, showing that apparent fans are stuck on the ground and in some cases naked and covered in blood.

Queretaro Governor Mauricio Kuri condemned the violence and said the owners of the Queretaro club had to answer what had happened.

“I have instructed the law to apply with all its consequences,” he said.