Three people have been killed and 10 injured following riots at a match in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The incidents occurred ahead of a scheduled game between Motagua and Olimpia on Saturday evening.
Violence began when the Motagua players’ bus was attacked with rocks en route to the National Stadium, injuring three players, all of whom were later admitted to hospital with facial injuries.
Among those hurt were Roberto Moreira, Jonathan Rougier and former Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre, who later posted his injuries on social media.
The fighting then continued both inside and outside the ground before the game, forcing officials to cancel the match while police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.
“Three people died and seven were shot and stabbed,” Laura Schoenherr, a spokeswoman for the state University School Hospital, told Reuters.
“One of them is a boy. Three of the injured adults are in critical condition.”
📍🏥 Nuestros jugadores, Emilio Izaguirre, Roberto Moreira y Jonathan Rougier, están siendo atendidos en un centro hospitalario después del ataque vandálico a nuestro bus pic.twitter.com/8rptzSYmZk
— Fútbol Club Motagua (@MOTAGUAcom) August 18, 2019
Motagua described the incidents as “reprehensible” and blamed members of the Ultra-Faithful Olimpia fan club for the attack on the bus. The club have also called upon authorities to hand out sanctions.
Around 5,000 police were called to the game, which was considered high risk as it was the first confrontation between Motagua coach Vasquez and the new coach of Olimpia Pedro Troglio.
Former Celtic man Izaguirre claimed after the game that his injuries were “nothing serious” and that “the danger is over”.
It is not the first time there have been serious incidents around games in the Honduras first tier.
Indeed, in 2018 Olimpia and Motagua’s home legs in the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 had to be played at different venues due to political unrest in the country.
Earlier that season a match between Marathon and Real Espana was abandoned as a result of crowd invasions and was subsequently rescheduled several times.