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26 injured as fans clash at Mexico football match

Mexico City (AFP) – At least 26 people were injured after violence broke out between opposing fans at a Mexican football match, authorities said on Sunday.

Fights broke out just after the hour mark of Saturday’s game between Queretaro and Atlas at La Corregidora stadium in the city of Queretaro.

As some fans, including families with children, tried to escape, the clashes spilled out onto the field of play, sending players running for cover.

Of the 26 people taken to hospital, three have been discharged but “three are in a serious condition, 10 are in a delicate state and the other 10 are not serious,” Queretaro state governor Mauricio Kuri said on Sunday.

“Even though there are no deaths, we cannot say this is not a tragedy,” added Kuri.

Unable to control the situation inside the ground, security guards opened the stadium doors to allow fans to get to safety.

But some instead continued to exchange blows, forcing the game to be stopped and sending the players to the changing rooms.

Chaotic scenes unfolded, with fans tumbling over each other and others cowering under a shower of furious kicks and punches. 

A VAR monitor was destroyed during the clashes, with images posted to social media showing injured fans lying prostrate.

The executive president of Mexico’s Liga-MX slammed the events on Twitter, writing: “Those responsible for the lack of security at the stadium will be exemplarily punished. The safety of our players and fans is a priority!”

Kuri criticized the security planning for the match and said there were insufficient police officers inside the ground who “did not act quickly enough.”

Atlas demanded in a statement that authorities and the league open an investigation into the violence in order to determine “responsibilities to those involved” and ensure “the full force of the law will be applied.”

Kuri vowed to ensure that “the law (will) be applied with all its consequences.”

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