125 killed in crowd after police use tear gas at stadium in Indonesia

125 killed in crowd after police use tear gas at stadium in Indonesia
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  • More than 320 people were injured during the stampede
  • The Indonesian Football Association has suspended the league to investigate
  • Police said they fired tear gas to control the crowd

MALANG, Indonesia, Oct 2 (Reuters) – At least 125 people have been killed and more than 320 injured in a stampede at a soccer stadium in Indonesia after police used tear gas to quell an attack on a pitch. the worst stadium disasters.

Officers fired tear gas to disperse agitated supporters of the losing home side who entered the pitch after the final whistle in Malang, East Java, on Saturday night, regional police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.

“It turned into anarchy. They started attacking officers, damaging cars,” Nico said, adding that the stampede occurred as fans rushed to the exit door.

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FIFA, the governing body of world football, released information about this safety rules no firearms or “crowd control gas” shall be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of the rules against using gas in stadiums.

“Many of our friends lost their lives because of officials who dehumanized us,” Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono, 22, said through tears as he nursed a broken arm at the local Kanjuruhan hospital. “Too many lives wasted.”

The stadium turned out to be a tragedy worst in decades. Wiyanto Wijoyo, head of Malang’s health agency, said the latest death toll was 125, with 323 injured.

Video footage from local news channels shows the fans flows onto the field After Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya at around 10pm (1500 GMT) after arguments and clouds of tear gas and fainting fans were carried off the pitch.

Hospital chief Bobi Prabowo said many victims at the nearby Kanjuruhan hospital were suffering from trauma, shortness of breath and lack of oxygen.

Bobi told Metro TV that some of the victims suffered brain injuries and that a 5-year-old child was among the dead.

President Joko Widodo said authorities should thoroughly assess security at matches and said he hoped it would be “the last football tragedy in the nation”.

Jokowi ordered the Indonesian Football Association, PSSI, as the president is known, to suspend all games in top league BRI League 1 until an investigation is completed.

At night, inside the stadium, a burnt chair was still lying unattended, slippers and shoes were haphazardly scattered. The police car that broke down during the cleaning was also taken out.

At the funeral of the two brothers, aged 14 and 15, in Malang, their relative Endah Wahyuni ​​said: “My family and I never thought it would happen like this, adding that they were “calm and obedient”.


FIFA president Gianni Infantino told Reuters the football world was “in a state of shock after the tragic events in Indonesia” and that the incident was “a dark day for everyone”.

PSSI General Secretary Yunus Nusi told reporters that FIFA has requested a report from PSSI on the incident and it has sent a team to Malanga to investigate.

Indonesia’s human rights commission also plans to investigate security in the area, including the use of tear gas, its commissioner told Reuters.

On Sunday, participants of the mourning ceremony gathered in front of the gates of the stadium to lay flowers in memory of the victims. Later in the night, people lit candles in front of the lion statue, the symbol of the local club.

On Sunday night, hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in the capital, Jakarta, carrying placards reading “Indonesian football is in mourning” and “an end to police brutality”.

Amnesty International Indonesia condemned the security measures, saying “there is no justification for the state’s use of excessive force to contain or control such crowds.”

The country’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said on his Instagram page that the stadium was overcrowded. According to him, 42,000 tickets were given to the stadium designed to hold 38,000 spectators.


Governor of East Java Khofifah Indar Parawansa told reporters that financial assistance will be provided to the injured and the families of the victims.

Matches in Indonesia have been troubled in the past, with strong rivalries between clubs sometimes leading to fan violence.

Stadiums are packed, but Indonesia’s football scene, with a population of 275 million, is in shambles due to hooliganism, heavy-handed policing and mismanagement.

Indonesia’s Sports Minister Zainudin Amali told KompasTV that the ministry will reassess security at football matches, including not allowing spectators into stadiums.

Periodic disasters at the stadium terrify fans around the world. In 1964, Peru hosted Argentina at the Estadio Nacional, killing 328 people.

In the 1989 British disaster, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed when an overcrowded and fenced building collapsed at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

Indonesia is scheduled to host the Under-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are also one of three countries in the running to host next year’s Asian Cup, the continent’s equivalent to the Euros, after China played host.

the head of Asian Football ConfederationIn his statement, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said he was “deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news from football-loving Indonesia” and expressed his condolences to the victims, their families and relatives.

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Reporting by Yuddy Cahya Budiman and Prasto Vardoyo in Malang, Stefanno Sulaiman, Stanley Widianto and Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana in Jakarta and Tommy Lund in Gdansk Writing by Kate Lamb and Stanley Widianto Editing by Ed Davies, William Mallard, Kim Coghill, Frances Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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