Fans of bitter local opponents Olimpia and Motagua football teams rioted outside Tegucigalpa’s National Stadium in Honduras, after a crowd of people believed to be rival supporters intercepted and vandalized a bus transporting Motagua players, police said.
“Three people died and seven were shot and stabbed. One of them is a boy. Three of the injured adults are in critical condition,” Laura Schoenherr, a spokeswoman for the state University School Hospital said.
The National Football League suspended the game after the incident. It had expected some 20,000 fans to attend.
Accompanying video purported to show players in blue uniforms standing in the still-moving bus beside smashed windows and a glass bottle rolling on a seat. “A rock! A rock! There! There!” someone shouts as a siren blares.
? Reprochable y lamentable
? La barra Ulta Fiel, atacó el bus de nuestro equipo cuando iba en camino al estadio nacional y varios de nuestros jugadores fueron herido por los vidrios, esto tiene que ser sancionado duramente por las autoridades correspondientes pic.twitter.com/VuaE1gQvUB
— Fútbol Club Motagua (@MOTAGUAcom) August 18, 2019
The riot broke out after crowds threw stones at the bus carrying members of the Motagua team, sending shards of window glass at the players inside, according to the Motagua club, which blamed members of the Ultra-Faithful Olimpia fan club.
“This has to be severely sanctioned by the corresponding authorities,” the Motagua club said in a tweet. “Reprehensible and lamentable,” it added in another tweet.
Three of the players – Emilio Izaguirre, Roberto Moreira and Jonathan Rougier – were transferred to a hospital with facial wounds, the Motagua club said.
A statement from the Ministry of Security confirmed the bus attack and said its perpetrators wore the uniforms of the rival Olimpia team. The ministry added in the statement that it had set up “five rings of security” ahead of the game.
Fighting continued both inside and outside National Stadium after officials cancelled the game.
The President of Olympia club, Rafael Villeda, told local press that he would meet with the leadership of the National League and Motagua to decide on the future of the game.