Mexican soccer league hits club with fan ban for brutal scrum

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Football players and people walk onto the pitch at the Corregidora stadium after clashes left at least 22 injured in a fight when football fans stormed the pitch during a top-flight match between Queretaro, mid-table, and Atlas, last year’s Liga MX champion, in Queretaro, Mexico. March 5, 2022. REUTERS/Victor Pichardo

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MEXICO CITY, March 8 (Reuters) – Mexican soccer authorities on Tuesday ordered Querétaro to play their home games in an empty stadium for a year after fans broke out in a bloody brawl that injured at least 26 people and made headlines around the world.

Sanctions imposed by Mexico’s top-flight men’s soccer league and the country’s soccer federation will also ban Querétaro fans from attending away games for three years, league president Mikel Arriola has said. to journalists.

Authorities said three people remained in critical condition after Saturday’s scrimmage in a game between Querétaro and the visitors Atlas, the defending Liga MX champions.

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Cellphone videos that went viral and sparked outrage in Mexico and beyond showed people being brutally beaten. Read more

Arriola and Yon de Luisa, head of the Mexican soccer federation, announced the measures at a joint press conference.

“We don’t want disguised criminals,” Arriola said, referring to organized fan groups blamed for the violence. These groups will need credentials to attend future games, he added.

The top four members of Queretaro’s management team were also banned from any future roles with other teams, while the club was fined 1.5 million pesos ($70,150).

Neither league nor federation officials have addressed what sparked the violence, which spilled from the stands onto the pitch as hundreds frantically sought shelter.

($1 = 21.3810 Mexican pesos)

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Reporting by Carlos Pacheco; Written by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Toby Davis

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