125 killed in a soccer stampede in Indonesia after police used tear gas at a stadium

  • More than 320 injured in crowds stampede
  • The Indonesian Football Association suspends the league for investigation
  • Police say they fired tear gas to control the crowd

MALANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – 125 people were killed and more than 320 injured in a stampede at a soccer stadium in Indonesia after police used tear gas to quell a stadium invasion in one of the world’s worst attacks, authorities said on Sunday. stadium disasters.

District police chief Nico Aventa told reporters that officers fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse supporters of the losing home team who stormed the pitch after the final whistle in Malang, East Java, on Saturday night.

“It got chaotic. They started attacking the officers, and they damaged cars,” Niko said, adding that the stampede occurred as fans fled to the exit gate.

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The governing body for world football is determined by FIFA in safety regulations No firearms or “crowd control gas” shall be carried or used by guards or police.

East Java police did not respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of regulations banning the use of gas in stadiums.

“Many of our friends have lost their lives because of the officers who have dehumanized us,” said Muhammed Ryan Doikahyuno, 22, as he nursed a broken arm at the local Kanjuruhan Hospital. “A lot of lives have been lost.”

The stadium disaster appeared to be the worst in the world in decades. Wyanto Wegoyo, head of Malang’s health agency, said the final death toll was 125, with 323 infections.

Video footage from local news channels showed fans pouring into the stadium after Arima’s team lost 3-2 to Persibaya Surabaya at around 10pm (1500 GMT), followed by scuffles, what appeared to be clouds of tear gas and loss of consciousness. place.

Many of the victims at the nearby Kanjuruhan Hospital suffered shock, shortness of breath and lack of oxygen due to the large number of people at the scene affected by the gas, hospital chief Bobby Prabowo said.

Bobby told Metro TV that some of the victims had brain injuries and that among the dead was a five-year-old girl.

President Joko Widodo said authorities should carefully assess security at matches, adding that he hopes this will be “the last football tragedy in the country”.

Jokowi, as the president is known, has ordered the Indonesian Football Association, PSSI, to suspend all matches in the BRI Liga 1 Premier League until the investigation is completed.

And inside the stadium at night, a burning chair was still lying unattended while slippers and shoes were scattered randomly. A damaged police car was also towed outside in the process of cleaning up.

At the funeral of two brothers, aged 14 and 15, in Malang who were attending a football match for the first time, their relative Indah Wahyuni ​​said: “My family and I didn’t think it would end like this,” adding that they were “calm and obedient.”

Gas check

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement to Reuters that the football world was “in shock following the tragic events in Indonesia” and that the event was a “dark day for all concerned”.

Younes Nosi, PSSI’s general secretary, told reporters that FIFA had requested a report on the incident from PSSI, which had sent a team to Malang to investigate.

The commissioner of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission told Reuters that the Indonesian Human Rights Commission also intends to investigate the security on the basis of reasons, including the use of tear gas.

On Sunday, mourners gathered outside the stadium gates to lay flowers for the victims. Later in the night, people burned candles in vigil at a statue of a lion, the symbol of the local club.

Hundreds also attended a candlelit vigil in the capital, Jakarta, on Sunday night, carrying banners reading “Indonesian football in mourning” and “Stop police brutality.”

Amnesty International Indonesia criticized the security measures, saying that “the use of excessive force by the state … to contain or control such crowds is absolutely unjustifiable.”

The country’s security chief, Mahfouz MD, said in an Instagram post that the stadium had filled beyond its capacity. He said that about 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium designed to accommodate 38,000 spectators.

Indonesian football scene

East Java Governor Khofifa Indar Parwansa told reporters that financial aid will be provided to the injured and the families of the victims.

There have been matches in Indonesia before, with strong rivalries between clubs sometimes leading to violence between fans.

Crowds fill the stadiums, but the football scene in Indonesia, a country of 275 million people, is plagued by riots, harsh police and mismanagement.

Zinedine Amali, Indonesia’s sports minister, told KompasTV that the ministry would re-evaluate safety at football matches, including looking into not allowing spectators in stadiums.

Regular stadium disasters terrified fans around the world. In 1964, 328 people were killed in a stampede when Peru hosted the Argentine at the Estadio Nacional.

In a British disaster in 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death when a crowded, fenced-in venue collapsed at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

Indonesia is scheduled to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May and June next year. It is also one of three countries to bid to host the Asian Cup next year, which is the European equivalent of the euro, after China withdrew from hosting the tournament.

head Asian Football ConfederationSheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement that he was “deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news coming from a football-loving Indonesia,” expressing his condolences to the victims, their families and friends.

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Reporting by Yudi Kahya Bodeman and Prasto Wardoyo in Malang, Stefano Suleiman, Stanley Widianto and Ajing Dinnar Ulviana in Jakarta and Tommy Lund in Gdansk. Frank Jack Daniel

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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