NewsWorldStampede, riot at Indonesia football match kills 125, league suspended

Stampede, riot at Indonesia football match kills 125, league suspended

At least 125 people were killed and 180 injured in a stampede and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia, officials said on Sunday (October 2), in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

When frustrated supporters of the losing home team invaded the pitch in Malang in the province of East Java late on Saturday, officers fired tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.

Video footage showed fans streaming onto the pitch after Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya around 10 p.m. (1500 GMT). Scuffles can be seen, with what appeared to be tear gas in the air.

Images showed people who appeared to have lost consciousness being carried away by other fans.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said authorities must thoroughly evaluate security at matches, adding that he hoped this would be “the last soccer tragedy in the nation.”

Jokowi, as the president is known, ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 until an investigation had been completed.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA specifies in its safety regulations that no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI football association, and a PSSI team has been sent to Malang to investigate, PSSI secretary general Yunus Nusi told reporters.

On Sunday mourners gathered outside the gates of the stadium to lay flowers for the victims.

There have been outbreaks of trouble at matches in Indonesia before, with strong rivalries between clubs sometimes leading to violence among supporters.

Indonesia’s football scene has been blighted by hooliganism, heavy-handed policing and mismanagement, largely preventing the country of 275 million people who pack stadiums from harnessing its potential in the sport.

Top Stories

Taste