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Three people killed in Honduras football riots

Rivals Olimpia and Motagua were due to face one another at the national stadium.

THREE PEOPLE WERE killed last night and at least seven seriously injured after riots between rival football fans ahead of a national championship game in Honduras, a hospital treating the victims said.

Supporters of Olimpia and Motagua teams — bitter local rivals — rioted outside National Stadium in the capital Tegucigalpa.

“Three people died and seven were shot and stabbed. One of them is a boy. Three of the injured adults are in critical condition,” a hospital spokesperson said.

The riot is believed to have started when a bus carrying Motagua players was attacked, leaving three players injured, club president Pedro Atala said on social media.

Jonathan Rougier, Roberto Moreira and former Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre were briefly treated in hospital.

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“Bottles, stones were thrown at us and the players threw themselves on the floor screaming,” Motagua coach Diego Vásquez told local media.

Olympia president Rafael Villeda said the violence was “unfortunate”.

The incident prompted the National Football League to suspend the fixture. Roughly 10,000 fans who had made it inside the stadium were injured in a stampede to leave, and then caught up in police tear gas outside.

Fans had had high expectations for the match — the first confrontation between Vásquez and the new coach of Olimpia Pedro Troglio — but police called the event high-risk and deployed some 5,000 officers in and outside the stadium.

The Ultra Faithful wing of Olympia supporters, known for their violent tactics, was also banned from entering the stadium.

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AFP

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