Riot breaks out as Colombian fans return to soccer stadium

National Sports

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP)A long-awaited return to El Campin stadium turned into a riot in Colombia’s capital as soccer fans battled one another and invaded the pitch.

Police said several people were injured, one seriously, in the melee during Tuesday night’s match between the local team Santa Fe and visiting Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

The game was the first after 17 months of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to allow fans at El Campin, Bogota’s main soccer venue, though some other stadiums around the country have hosted fans at games since mid-July.

Mayor Claudia Lopez, who attended, announced it would also be the last for a while due to the disturbances. She said spectators would again be barred indefinitely at El Campin and the smaller Techo stadium in the capital.

”So many dreams of returning to Campin and they do this. Unacceptable!” the mayor tweeted. ”We rejected it and condemn it!”

The rioting began shortly before the end of the first half when fan clubs from El Nacional invaded an area where Santa Fe supporters were sitting. Many then invaded the field, forcing a delay of about 50 minutes.

Nacional eventually won 1-0.

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