The Liga MX game between defending champions Atlas FC and Queretaro was stopped in the second half after acts of violence in the stands moved onto the pitch. The salvage incidents left at least 17 people dead and another 22 seriously injured, according to various sources.
Mexican authorities only released the number of those seriously injured, 22, saying nine of them needed to be transported to the hospital, with two in serious condition.
Tragedia en México 🇲🇽
Se habla de 17 muertos luego de un entrenamiento entre las barras de Querétaro y Atlas, en la Liga Mexicana.
Las imágenes que llegan desde el estadio La Corregidora son demasiado sensibles para publicarlas.
— Ovación24 (@ovacion24) March 6, 2022
As acts of violence in the stands became impossible to contain, part of the fans looked for refuge on the pitch. The players of both teams rushed to their locker rooms. Images published by various media outlets showed Atlas supporters being hit mercilessly, despite many of them having kids under their protection.
Adolfo Rios, Queretaro’s president, apologized to the Atlas supporters. “This is not Mexico, this is not football, this is not our country,” he said. “It hurts a lot. The most important thing is to get people out from the stadium safely,” the club official added.
“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 a priority,” Liga MX president Mikel Arriola said on Twitter.
Through a statement, the league also announced there will be a thorough investigation into Saturday’s horror events.
Matches in Liga MX on Saturday were played as scheduled, but Arriola decided to suspend all of Sunday’s encounters.
When the Queretaro vs Atlas game got suspended midway through the second half, the visitors were leading 1-0 thanks to Julio Furch’s goal in the 29th minute.
Following the terrible incidents this weekend, the debate heated up on whether Mexico should host World Cup games in four years. The Central-American nation is supposed to be one of the three homes of the 2026 World Cup alongside the US and Canada.