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Players ‘get death threats’ after Mexico football brawl

Mexico City (AFP) – Players for one of the Mexican football teams whose weekend match was marred by clashes between rival fans have received death threats, their club said Monday.

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

“My players have received death threats. They’re not calm. There are wives who are thinking of leaving,” Queretaro manager Hernan Cristante told a news conference.

According to authorities in the state of Queretaro, 26 people were taken to hospital and 19 of them had been discharged as of Monday.

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

The game was abandoned and the football league suspended Sunday’s remaining matches.

“There were many families in the stadium. The people from Atlas were cheering. The people from Queretaro were cheering and something happened,” Cristante said.

The Argentinian manager said that he and his players had helped some Atlas fans who were attacked by Queretaro supporters, sheltering them in the dressing room.

“I saw a boy who was being beaten and I grabbed three boys (players) to get him out and we took him to the tunnel,” Cristante said.

According to the Queretaro club, there were around 14,000 fans in the stands and 600 security personnel.

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.

World football’s governing body FIFA criticized what it called “unacceptable and intolerable” violence.

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