Last week, A Liga MX soccer match between Queretaro and their visiting rivals Atlas ended in a deadly riot. During the match’s 63rd minute, with Atlas leading 1-0, combative fans in the stands forced observers to flee onto the field. Referee Fernando Guerrero suspended the match as fans trickled onto the pitch, but even that wasn’t enough to restore calm. Guerrero put a permanent end to the game as the fans overtook the field, and the violence grew out of control.
While the authorities of Queretaro officially report 22 people injured and nine hospitalized, local media claim at least 17 dead after a brutal battle in the match between Queretaro and Atlas.
Guerrero suspended the match initially in hopes order would be restored. However, the violence continued to spread across the stadium’s upper bowl, which hosted World Cup games in 1986. After hundreds of fans continued to flood the field of play, Guerrero halted the game for good.
Liga MX’s disciplinary committee also announced that they have started an investigation into the matter and will wait for more information to come through.
In a news conference on Sunday, Queretaro governor Mauricio Kuri said that 26 people in total required medical attention, 24 men and two women. Three have already been discharged, and three remain in critical condition.
FIFA said in a statement that it was “shocked at the tragic incident that took place at La Corregidora stadium in the city of Queretaro during the fixture between Queretaro and Atlas.” It called the violence “unacceptable and intolerable.”
Liga MX also condemned the violence in a message on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Arriola said those responsible for the lack of security in the stadium would be punished. He added that the rest of the league’s games this weekend had been suspended.
From March 8th, the 11th round of the Expansion League, which is a kind of second division of Liga MX, but without promotion rights, began with no fans in the stands.
Disaffiliation of the Queretaro team
There are strong rumours that Queretaro will be disaffiliated in the coming days. At the Assembly of the Owners, what will happen to the franchise in the short term and the gap it causes between the Liga MX teams will be decided. However, it seems that the disaffiliation of the Queretaro team is already a done deal, as the Liga MX and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) would not want to risk losing the 2026 World Cup venue for Mexico.