MEXICO CITY – A First Division Mexican soccer match was suspended Saturday after gunmen opened fire on police outside the stadium in the northern city of Torreon, causing players and referees to run for cover.
Local clubs Santos and Morelia were tied 0-0 at the 40-minute mark when the shots were heard inside the stadium.
Televised footage showed the players and referees dashing off the field to take cover inside the stadium. Santos' Argentine forward Emanuel Luduena ran with his child in his arms.
Fans, many with children, ducked for cover and hundreds ran onto the field to move away from the sound of the gunfire outside TSM stadium.
Torreon police and local soccer officials said the attack left one police officer injured, but no one was hurt inside the stadium.
Gunmen opened fire on a police patrol near the stadium, said Fernando Olivas, the regional delegate for Coahuila state's attorney general's office.
"The public security vehicle was attacked by unidentified gunmen outside TSM and the preliminary information we have is that one policeman was injured," Olivas told Milenio TV.
Santos team president Alejandro Irarragorri went to the center of the field, accompanied by goaltender Oswaldo Sanchez, to announce that the game had been suspended.
"In the Santos club, we feel bad for the time in which we are living. It is evident that the game will be suspended," Irarragorri told the crowd. "You can be assured that we will try to control these situations. We are sorry for Morelia, the referees and those who are visiting us from elsewhere."
It is the first premiere league game that has been canceled in Mexico because of drug violence, though last year a baseball game was suspended in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, because of a similar incident.
Police did not say who the gunmen were, but Torreon has recently been the scene of fighting between the powerful Sinaloa and Zetas drug cartels.
Torreon is located about 621 miles north of Mexico City in the border state of Coahuila.