Liga MX: Queretaro home fans banned for 1 year, 'barras' get 3-year ban; owners must sell club

Liga MX club Queretaro will play home matches with no fans for one year and ban the barras supporters' groups for three years as part of its punishment following scenes of violence at a soccer game last weekend that left 26 people injured.

The punishments, following clashes between fans during Queretaro's match against visiting Atlas at Estadio Corregidora on Saturday, were announced on Tuesday by Mexican Football Federation president Yon de Luisa and Liga MX president Mikel Arriola.

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Queretaro's ownership group (Gabriel Solares, Adolfo Ríos, Greg Taylor and Manuel Velarde) will also be banned from league-related activities for five years and the club will be returned to previous owners Grupo Caliente, which owns fellow Liga MX club Tijuana. Queretaro's current ownership will also be fined 1.5 million pesos ($70,450).

Grupo Caliente will be tasked with selling Queretaro by the end of this year, and if unable to do so, it will go under the ownership of Liga MX.

"Starting today, measures will be implemented that will mark a before and after in the protocols that must be observed and followed," Arriola said at a news conference. "We are facing the problem head-on, with the aim of changing this negative image from the previous weekend."

Saturday's match was suspended midgame after multiple fights broke out in the stands. Security personnel opened the gates to the field so that fans, including women and children, could escape the clashes. Authorities announced on Tuesday that 14 arrests have been made on potential charges that include violence in a sporting event and attempted homicide.

Of the 26 people injured, 19 have been released from the hospital, while two remain hospitalized. No deaths have been officially reported.

Individuals who form part of Queretaro's barras (referred to as "animation groups" by De Luisa and Arriola) will not be able to attend away games for one year, with Atlas-affiliated barras banned from away matches for six months. In addition, any person found to have been involved in the incident will be given a lifetime ban from all Mexican soccer stadiums.

Other safety measures that will be implemented by all Liga MX teams for the 2022-23 season include facial recognition technology and fan IDs, which will register and identify members of supporters' groups. Minors will also no longer be allowed in the supporters' group sections.

State, local and municipal police will also now provide security at Liga MX games, as opposed to the private security often used at games.

De Luisa also said Liga MX decided not to disaffiliate Queretaro from the 18-team league to avoid impacting the ongoing 2022 Clausura season. The club's youth and women's squads will also have to play behind closed doors.

The league also ruled that the match, which was at 1-0 in Atlas' favor before being abandoned in the 63rd minute, will be recorded as a 3-0 Atlas win.