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Mexican soccer team refuses to carry anti-drug gang banner

Pumas UNAM v Tigres UANL - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 04: Alberto Acosta of Tigres drives the ball during the 5th round match between Pumas UNAM and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX at Olimpico Universitario Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Players from Mexican soccer team Pumas refused a request to carry an anti-drug gang banner onto the pitch during a weekend game.

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The Pumas are based at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, known as the UNAM.

Two non-students were shot to death on the campus last week and prosecutors say the killings were apparently part of a dispute involving drug dealers who operate openly at the university.

University Rector Enrique Graue told local media Tuesday that university officials had asked the players to carry a banner reading “Narcos out of the UNAM” at a Sunday match against the Chivas of Guadalajara.

The sports newspaper Record says several players balked, citing fears for their security.

The university instead projected the message on the scoreboard.