MEXICO CITY â€” A soccer game in central Mexico descended into violent clashes between fans of the opposing teams on Saturday. The authorities said 22 people had been injured, two of them critically.
The match, in a stadium in the city of QuerÃ©taro, was called off after just over an hour of play as fans began attacking one another, provoking panic among other spectators, many of whom ran onto the field, according to news reports and videos from the scene.
Shocking footage posted on social media showed groups of men dragging people across the concrete outside the stadium, kicking and beating them and ripping off their clothes. Another video showed a topless man being beaten and whipped.
â€œI strongly condemn todayâ€™s violence at the Corregidora Stadium,â€ Mauricio Kuri, the governor of QuerÃ©taro State, said on Twitter. â€œI have given instructions to apply the law with all its consequences.â€
Atlas, the defending champion of Liga MX, the Mexican soccer league, had been leading QuerÃ©taroâ€™s team 1-0 when the fighting broke out in the stands. The violence soon spread onto the field and into the area around the stadium, according to videos shared online.
Liga MX said in a statement that it had begun â€œan in-depth investigation into what happened in the stands, on the pitch and outside the building during the match.â€ The leagueâ€™s executive president, Mikel Arriola, said all matches scheduled for Sunday would be suspended.
â€œLiga MX will undertake an in-depth revision of our security protocols,â€ Mr. Arriola said in a video posted on Twitter. â€œWe strongly condemn what happened tonight and our commitment is to act so that there is no impunity in the face of these unfortunate events.â€
The disciplinary commission of the Mexican Football Federation said it had also opened an investigation.
A match last year between Atlas, a Guadalajara-based club, and their local rivals the Chivas was also marred by violence among fans, and an October 2019 match between QuerÃ©taro and AtlÃ©tico de San Luis was suspended after several spectators were injured in clashes. In 2015, fans of Atlas invaded the pitch during another match against Chivas; the subsequent violence saw 10 people detained and at least nine injured, news outlets reported.