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Marbella Ibarra: Mexican women's football pioneer killed

One of the main promoters of women's football in Mexico, Marbella Ibarra, has been killed.

Ms Ibarra, 44, was the founder of Mexico's first professional women's football team, Xolas de Tijuana.

Her body, which showed signs of torture, was found wrapped in plastic sheeting in Rosarito, a beach resort south of the border city of Tijuana.

She had disappeared last month and her family believe she was kidnapped. The motive behind her murder is unclear.

Officials said a post-mortem examination would be carried out to determine the exact cause of her death, but the case was being treated as murder.

Her hands and feet had been tied and she had been severely beaten. She is believed to have been killed on Friday but her body was not found until Monday.

Investigators say they think her murder is unrelated to her role as coach and football promoter.

Most recently Ms Ibarra had dedicated her time to a foundation helping young female footballer players financially so they could have trials with teams other than their local ones.

There was an outpouring of grief on social media, with many players recalling the influence Ms Ibarra had had on them and the support she had offered.

Her niece Fabiola Ibarra, who plays for Guadalajara-based football club Atlas Femenil and the Mexican national women's team, wrote that she would "hang on to all the beautiful moments I had with you and all that you did for me, you are the best friend, the best aunt and the best coach!"

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