At least 174 people die after riots and stampedes at soccer match in Indonesia

At least 174 people were killed after a riot and stampede at a soccer match in Indonesia, one of the deadliest disasters in the sport’s history, according to government officials.

The disaster, which left at least 180 people injured, prompted President Joko Widodo to suspend top-flight matches in the country until a security investigation into the sport was completed.

Games in Surabaya in From Indonesia The province of East Java between local rivals Arema and Persebaya plunged into violence after thousands of fans stormed the field, police said on Sunday, adding that the death toll could continue to rise.

East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta said that the crowd consisted entirely of fans of Arema, the home team, which lost the match 3-2, with Persebaya supporters watching virtual from Surabaya, the provincial capital.

Chaos ensued after police fired tear gas as fans “became anarchic” and stormed the field, causing a stampede in which people were trampled and suffocated, Afinta said. Two policemen were among the dead.

This tragedy is a blow to Indonesia’s credentials as a venue for popular international sporting events. The country is hosting the Men’s Under-20 World Cup in 2023 and is bidding to host the Asian Cup next year.

Human rights groups have criticized the Indonesian police’s response, especially the use of tear gas, which is banned by Fifa for crowd control.

“We . “, Amnesty International said in a statement Sunday.

Footage posted by local and online media showed the crowd flipping over and pulling police cars down and chasing Persebaya players and officials.

Widodo said he “regrets” the events and demanded a thorough investigation.

“I hope this is the last tragedy of football in this country,” he added.

Up to 42,000 tickets were sold for the match at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java, although it has an official capacity of just 38,000 people, Mahfud MD, Indonesia’s minister of politics, law and security, said in a statement. posts on Instagram.

PSSI, Indonesia’s football association, has banned Arema from hosting matches for the rest of the season, its president said in a statement. statement.

Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali told CNN Indonesia that he is coordinating with the national police and the PSSI president, to “identify the parties responsible” for the disaster. He also told local media that the ministry would consider banning spectators from going to the stadium.


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