Mexico violence almost cost World Cup 2026 hosting duties - Liga MX president

Liga MX president Mikel Arriola has told ESPN that Mexico's role as one of the hosts of the 2026 World Cup would have been in jeopardy had there not been a decisive response by the country's football authorities to the fan violence that erupted on Saturday.

The clashes between fans during Queretaro's league match against visiting Atlas at Estadio Corregidora resulted in 26 people injured while police have arrested 14 individuals.

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The Liga MX and country's Football Federation (FMF) announced punishments on Tuesday, which included Queretaro being forced to play behind closed doors their home games for one year and a three-year ban for the barras supporters' groups.

"It [the involvement in the 2026 World Cup hosting] was at risk if Mexico didn't resolve and didn't show a capacity of resolving our own industry's problems," Arriola told ESPN.

"Because if not, they [CONCACAF, FIFA] would have imposed the solutions on us. Yes, it [Mexico's World Cup involvement] was at risk, but I think after [Tuesday's] assembly and having informed FIFA of our decisions, I believe we can continue very forcefully going forward".

FIFA were "shocked" by the "barbaric" episode at Queretaro and asked "local authorities to bring swift justice to those responsible."

FMF president Yon de Luisa cut short his trip to Europe to return to Mexico on Sunday to address the situation.

De Luisa said on Tuesday he had been in contact with FIFA president Gianni Infantino in recent days.

"He [Infantino] was very concerned about the events that went around the world," De Luisa said. "At all times he showed us his personal and institutional support so that we took the necessary measures that are needed.

"I think it is very clear to me that what was decided is perfectly aligned with what he requested of us."

Mexico is part of the United 2026 winning bid, also involving Canada and the United States.