A Mexican soccer game descended into mayhem as violent clashes broke out between fans of opposing sides, leaving several people dead.
The match, being held at a stadium in the city of Querétaro, northwest of Mexico City, was called off just after the second half had got underway following an hour of gameplay.
Fans were caught on camera attacking one another including throwing chairs and hurling metal trash cans. Authorities say at least 22 people were injured, two of them critically.
However, one unofficial report suggested the casualty count to be far high with up 17 people dead and 44 wounded.
At least 22 people were injured, including two critically, on Saturday when fans brawled during a soccer game in central Mexico
One fan can be seen throwing a metal trash can at another group of fans
Groups of fans were seen fighting one another with one man grabbing a chair to slam over the head of another
A fan stands over the goal’s net during the 9th round match between Queretaro and Atlas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium
Supporters of Atlas fight with supporters of Queretaro during the Mexican Clausura football tournament in Queretaro
The outbreak of violence soon spilled out onto the field
The Queretaro fans are infamous for how violent they can get in their own ‘La Corregidora’ stadiumIn a matter of minutes, several supporters started stepping into the pitch but mostly families, children and women
Washington Aguerre of Queretaro attempts to calm the fans who entered the pitch and got into fights during the 9th round match between Queretaro and Atlas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium in Queretaro, Mexico
Graphic videos and photos circulated on social networks showing apparent fans motionless on the ground, in some cases stripped naked and covered with blood
As the fighting broke out in the stands, panicked spectators ran onto the field, at which point the match was suspended.
Players from visiting Atlas quickly fled to the locker rooms as did some from the Queretaro side. Other Queretaro players, including Uruguayan goalie Washington Aguerre, stayed near the bench trying to calm the fans.
After several minutes some of the fights moved to the field where they continued punching and kicking. Some people were armed with chairs and metal bars.
Fans climbed a the wire fence to enter the field at one point
A fan enters the pitch holding a metal bar
A man could be seen wielding a metal bar to attack fans
Fans of Queretaro and Atlas clashed during a Mexican soccer league match at the Corregidora stadium, in Queretaro, Mexico
The violence soon spilled outside the stadium with fans attacking one another with chairs
One person could be seen on the group with his clothes torn off
Paramedics help a woman as ambulances stand by to tend to injured people
A paramedic helps a woman as ambulances stand by to tend to injured people
Fans of the opposing side appeared to be extremely angry at one another
Several supporters started stepping into the pitch, mostly families, children and women in order to get away from the violence
In shocking footage posted to social media, groups of men could be seen dragging people across the ground outside the stadium.
One fan could be seen pulling a knife to cut the nets of one goal. Others destroyed one side’s bench and some fought in the tunnel to the field.
People were then seen being beaten and kicked with their clothes being ripped off.
Another man could be seen being beaten and whipped.
‘So far there is no report of deaths; 22 people injured, nine of them taken to the General Hospital and of these, two are critical,’ said the Queretaro state civil protection agency. ‘The rest are stable. It should be mentioned that all of those injured are male and at this moment it’s been confirmed that four were from the state of Jalisco.’
The match had to be abandoned in the 62nd minute after spectators stormed the pitch
Families were forced to leave the pitch through underground passageways
One group of fans through a metal trash can over a fence as part of the violence
Fans could be seen goading one another as the violence continued in the stands
Fans got physical with one another as others attempted to make a run for it jumping over seats
Supporters of Atlas football team enter the field during the Mexican football match
Fans could be seen arguing with team members as the game was stopped
‘I strongly condemn today’s violence at the Corregidora Stadium,’ the governor of Querétaro State, Mauricio Kuri, wrote on Twitter. ‘I have given instructions to apply the law with all its consequences. In Querétaro there is no impunity.’
The defending champions of the Mexican soccer league, Liga MX, Atlas from Guadalajara were beating Querétaro’s team 1-0 when the fighting began.
The violence spilled over onto the field and out of the stadium the field and into the area around the stadium, according to videos shared online.
Security personnel opened the gates to the field so that fans, including women and children, could escape the stands.
The league condemned the violence in a message on its official Twitter account. League President Mikel Arriola later said the game would not be resumed Saturday.
He said those responsible for the lack of security in the stadium would be punished.
Liga MX said ‘an in-depth investigation into what happened in the stands, on the pitch and outside the building during the match.’
Supporters of Queretaro football team enter the field during the Mexican Clausura 2022 football tournament match against Atlas at the Corregidora Stadium in Queretaro, Mexico
Fans of Queretaro and Atlas clash during a Mexican soccer league match at the Corregidora stadium, in Queretaro, Mexico, on Saturday. The match was suspended after fans invaded the field
Players attempted to clear invading fans from the field
A man is helped by an Atlas team staff member during the match on Saturday night