FIFA has reacted to the mass brawl that reportedly saw 17 people killed and 26 injured in a Liga MX match between football teams Queretaro and Atlas in Mexico at the weekend.
The governing body expressed its shock at the outbreak of violence at the game, which was halted with visiting Liga MX champions Atlas leading 1-0 in the second half.
“FIFA joins the Mexican Football Association and [South American football chiefs] Concacaf in condemning this barbaric incident and encouraging the local authorities to bring swift justice to those responsible,” it said.
“Our thoughts are with all those who suffered its consequences. Once again, FIFA would like to stress that violence should have absolutely no place in football and we will continue working with all parties to eradicate it from our game.”
The Queretaro state civil protection agency had previously said that 22 people were injured, two of whom were in critical condition with nine taken to the local General Hospital.
ESPN later reported that at least 26 people who attended the game were hurt, with seven now discharged.
Unconfirmed reports have now said that up to 17 people died in multiple brawls that broke out in the stands in the 62nd minute.
As players took shelter in the locker room or stayed behind in attempts to calm the angry mob, security were forced to open the front gates so that peaceful fans, including women and children, could escape the violence by making their way on to the pitch.
Shocking footage that was shared widely online showed fans spilling onto the field as bloodied supporters were stripped naked and punched and kicked despite lying on the ground unresponsive.
Queretaro Governor Mauricio Kuri condemned the violence, saying that Queretaro’s owners would be made to answer for the shocking events.
Fve public servants in charge of the game’s security operations have been suspended from their activities, with some made to testify to the Queretaro State Prosecutor’s Office.
“We regret and condemn these events, which run contrary to the spirit of our soccer,” said Mexican FA president Mikel Arriola, who suspended the rest of the weekend’s Matchday 9 fixtures in the Mexican top flight.
The Estadio Corregidora stadium will no longer be a venue for matches. Away fans at all Liga MX matches have also been banned.