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Honduran Soccer Riots Leave Three Dead, At Least 10 Injured

Photo: Victor Colindres/La Tribunal (AP Photo)

The lead up to a Honduran soccer game turned violent as supporters from two rival clubs clashed both with one another and with police inside and outside of the National Stadium in Tegucigalpa. Reuters reports that three people were killed, and at least 10 were injured during the incident, including three players.

Supporters of Olimpia and Motagua—the two rival clubs—began fighting after one group began to throw stones at the Motagua team bus as it was carrying the players. Shards of glass began to fly about inside the bus, hitting some players in the eye. Emilio Izaguirre, Roberto Moreira and Jonathan Rougier were the three Motagua players injured during the ordeal. Izaguirre posted a photo of himself on his Instagram story with some bandages over his right eye.

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Translation:

Thank god everything is ok, it was just a scare. Small pieces of glass fell into my eye, but it wasn’t anything serious. They cleaned out my eyes and the danger passed. The real pain felt should be towards those who died. We are all Honduran it doesn’t matter what team [you support]. We have to have respect for every human being. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR MESSAGES

A spokeswoman for the state University School Hospital told Reuters some additional details about what had happened. In total, seven of the people injured were shot or stabbed, three of the injured adults are in critical condition and one of the victims was a young boy—it’s not clear if she meant he was killed or injured.

About 10,000 were already in the National Stadium when the rioting began. Many spectators were caught in the stampede of people trying to flee the violence, while others were hit with tear gas or tackled by police officers.

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Videos and photos of the initial incident were mostly shared from the Twitter page of Motagua. Included were images of the shattered bus windows, video of how the bus looked after a bulk of the attack was over and images of the aforementioned players getting treated in a hospital.

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The first tweet announced that the club would not be appearing in the match because of what had happened to their bus. The second tweet describes the video and says that serious sanctions need to be brought down from the appropriate authorities. Both of those tweets reference a group of rival supporters named Ultra-Faithful Olimpia fan club as the ones responsible for throwing the rocks at the bus. However, Honduras’ Ministry of Security could only confirm that the attackers were wearing Olimpia jerseys.

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The National Football League—Honduras’ top flight division (seriously)—suspended the game indefinitely, with Olimpia president Rafael Villeda promising to meet with Motagua and league executives about the match’s future.

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