10 suspects arrested in fight at Mexican soccer match

MEXICO CITY — Authorities in north-central Mexico said on Tuesday they arrested 10 suspects in a massive brawl between soccer fans that left more than two dozen injured, three seriously.

Guadalupe Murguía, Querétaro state interior secretary, said a total of 26 people had been identified as participating in the scuffle and that raids and searches with warrants were continuing in several towns to find the others. .

The arrests were based on a review of videos and other evidence from Saturday’s confrontation.

The state suspended five officials after stadium security forces were unable to control the violence. They include police and civil protection employees, as well as three people responsible for planning and preparations.

The private company partly responsible for security at the football stadium has also had its contracts cancelled.

Police were also at the scene when the scuffle occurred Saturday during a game between hosts Queretaro and defending league champion Atlas de Guadalajara.

All matches in the Mexican First Division were canceled on Sunday and the league could ban fans from attending away games.

Saturday’s game was suspended in the 62nd minute after multiple fights broke out in the stands. Security personnel opened the gates to the pitch so that supporters, including women and children, could escape the clashes.

Only three or four of the injured men remained hospitalized. They may have been the three people who were seen unconscious or beaten to the ground, repeatedly being kicked and punched in videos posted to social media.

After several minutes, some of the fighting moved to the field, where some people were armed with chairs and metal bars.

A fan could be seen pulling a knife to cut the nets off a goal. Others destroyed the bench on one side and some fought through the tunnel to the pitch.

Enrique Alfaro, the governor of the state of Jalisco, whose capital is Guadalajara, was asked on Monday about local press reports that the fight may have involved local criminal gangs fighting visitors who allegedly belonged to the security cartel. Jalisco drug.

“What it seems to me is that what we saw was not a normal argument between fans,” Alfaro said. “What happened there was something that looked different.”

Alfaro, however, declined to say whether drug gangs were involved.

Guadalajara Mayor Pablo Lemus said on Monday there was a growing consensus that team “barras” – organized fan clubs that are often involved in violence – are not allowed to attend matches. outside.

“What we want to avoid is having the barras of visiting teams in the stadiums,” Lemus said.

Mikel Arriola, president of the MX League, said he would likely adopt biometric or facial recognition systems in stadiums to identify troublemakers.

“We need to implement digital security measures to identify those who attend, starting with the barras,” Arriola said, adding that he would propose at a meeting of club owners on Tuesday that these clubs be excluded from matches. away from their teams.

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