Indonesia to investigate football tragedy where 129 people died, league suspended for a week
Published on: Sunday, October 02, 2022
By: Bernama
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Fans invade the soccer field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium. - Reuters
Fans invade the soccer field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium. - Reuters
JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday called for a full investigation of the football tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium, in Malang, East Java where 129 people died after a riot erupted on the pitch following a football match on Saturday night.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) and the police have been ordered to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the manner the matches were carried out and the safety procedures involved.

“I regret that this tragedy had happened and hope that this will be the last one in our country. There should not be another humanitarian crisis like this in our country,” he said in a statement.

The tragedy that occurred after the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya also left another 180 injured, according to East Java police.

East Java police chief Inspector General Nico Afinta said Arema supporters who were incensed after their team went down 3-2 in an East Java derby match entered the pitch to confront the players and team officials.

Anti-riot police tried coaxing the supporters to get back to the stand but they turned unruly prompting the police to fire tear gas, leading to a stampede when the supporters tried to run out.

"There were jostling at one of the exits if I am not mistaken Gate 10 or Gate 12 where some suffered asphyxiation and emergency teams tried to save them," said Nico.

Tear gas was also fired outside the stadium towards rioters who threw objects at the Persebaya Surabaya club entourage’s convoy.

Several supporters of Arema FC and security personnel were also injured outside the stadium with 13 police vehicles damaged and set on fire.

Meanwhile, PSSI chief Mochamad Iriawan announced the 2022-2023 season of League 1 has been suspended for a week, with Arema FC prohibited from hosting the remaining matches.

"We apologise to the families of the victims and all parties over the incident," he said.

He said the PSSI has dispatched an investigation team to Malang and will cooperate with the police in the investigation of the incident that has marred the image of Indonesian football.

Arema FC on its part has set up a Crisis Management Centre to relay information and is ready to compensate the victims.

The League 1 clubs in Indonesia also conveyed their condolences to the victms over the tragedy. 



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