FMF, Liga MX hits Querétaro with sanctions after fan violence

The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and Liga MX, the top division of the domestic game, have issued a raft of sanctions against Querétaro after the scenes that resulted in the suspension of Saturday’s match against Atlas.

The match was suspended after 62 minutes when fights broke out in the stands at the Estadio Corregidora. Liga MX subsequently announced that all remaining matches over the weekend would be suspended “in solidarity with those affected by the events”.

The fighting broke on to the pitch and Liga MX president Mikel Arriola had said that punishments would be handed out over the lack of security at the Estadio Corregidora.

The fighting left over two dozen people injured, three of them critically. The FMF and Liga MX has now ruled that Querétaro will have to play its home matches behind closed doors for one year after stadium security was shown to be of insufficient standards.

Querétaro’s ‘barra’ fan club will be banned from attending home games for three years, along with visiting other Liga MX stadia for one year. Querétaro’s ownership group has also received a five-year ban from Mexican football, while the club must be sold to new owners by the end of the year.

Querétaro has also been hit with a fine of 1.5 million Mexican pesos (£53,868/€64,601/$70,843).  The match, which stood at 1-1 when the fighting broke out, has been awarded as a 3-0 win to Atlas.

Authorities in the north-central state of Querétaro said earlier yesterday (Tuesday) that they had arrested 13 suspects involved in the fighting, according to the Associated Press news agency. A 14th suspect was turned in by his mother to police.

The state has suspended five officials after security forces at the stadium were unable to control the violence, while the private contractor partly response for security has had its contract terminated.

Yon de Luisa, president of the FMF, said: “What happened last weekend not only put many lives in danger, but also damaged the reputation of the state of Querétaro, its people and the club, Liga MX and Mexican football both nationally and internationally.”

Ariola had earlier suggested Liga MX would adopt biometric or facial recognition technology at stadia in order to root out troublemakers.

Image: Kanagawa2/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size