Soccer is Mexico’s most popular sport, raising passions that aren’t always channeled properly.
It was amid a celebration for the dramatic victory by the América club team over Cruz Azul during the Liga MX (Mexican soccer league) final that a man shot and killed his neighbor due to a difference in sports opinion.
Mexican newspaper El Siglo de Torreón reports that police officer Manuel Noriega watched the Sunday match with his neighbor, Gabriel Escalante, who at the end began to euphorically celebrate América’s victory. Upset at the fan’s reaction over the win, Noriega took out his weapon and shot Escalante. The incident occurred in Ciudad Juárez.
That same night, according to El Tiempo.com.mx, a similar incident occurred in the same city when an América fan who was celebrating was stabbed by a man who, witnesses say, was a Cruz Azul fan.
Mexican news outlets have agreed that the common denominator in both tragic events was the excess of alcohol consumption.
This last Mexican soccer season was marked by multiple fights in different stadiums, violence that was later the subject of sociological and legislative analysis. In fact, Mexican deputies met with league officials in April in order to find a solution and present different measures to tackle the phenomenon.
The final between América and Cruz Azul was the most watched television event in recent times in Mexico with 41 nationwide rating points, according to Medio Tiempo.
Las Águilas, as América is also known, won their 11th league championship by defeating the Cruz Azul ‘Cementeros’ during penalties.