Update (7/6/23): Police have arrested a suspect in the stabbing which took place in Levi’s Stadium on Sunday during a Gold Cup fùtbol match between Mexico and Qatar. Santa Clara Police identified 29-year-old Alejandro Garcia-Villanueva as the suspect within 24 hours of the game and arrested him without incidents at his home on Tuesday. The other person of interest being sought was also contacted, but police determined she had not committed any crimes.
The victim was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a stab wound to his neck but is now expected to make a full recovery.
Violence and fútbol have sadly become intertwined to the point that no one is really surprised to see fights erupt during a game anymore. This time around the Mexican national team is at the center of it all. During the Mexcio team’s 1-0 Gold Cup loss to Qatar on Sunday (June 2nd) the police responded to a brawl in the stands between fans. The violent incident was captured on video.
“Upon arrival, SCPD officers located a male victim with a visible wound to his neck,” the police report explained. “Based upon witness statements and video footage, SCPD detectives discovered the victim was stabbed in the neck with a knife during an altercation with the suspect. The suspect fled from the scene and was not located.”
Two suspects were later identified, and the pictures disseminated by police show them both to be wearing Mexican national team jerseys.
The game took place in Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, a stadium that is also set to serve as a venue for the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The Mexican Federation released a statement on Tuesday that expressed that they “strongly regret and condemn the acts of violence that occurred after last Sunday’s game in Santa Clara,” but considering how endemic violence has become to fútbol – in Mexico, and around the world, this seems like a problem that needs to be tackled with more than just statements from the federations or the equivalent of thoughts and prayers. Neither of those has done anything before.
Police confirmed the victim is in critical, but stable condition. And the Gold Cup is set to continue with its knockout stages on Saturday, July 8th, when Mexico will face Costa Rica.