125 people died and around 180 were injured in the rampage after a football match in the Indonesian province of East Java. According to police, the stadium was over capacity with around 4,000 people during the match.
After the end of a soccer match between Indonesia’s eternal rivals Arema and Persebaya Surabaya in Malang, a group of angry fans stormed the field, Reuters reported. “There was a mess, they started attacking policemen, smashing cars,” the East Java provincial police chief later explainedNico Afinta, adding that not all fans were violent“only about 3,000 who invaded the field”.
The police tried to calm the situation with tear gas – despite the instructions of Fifa, which advises against the use of tear gas in stadiums – with the result that panic broke out among the fans, who tried to make their way to the exits as quickly as possible. 125 people died from injuries and suffocation, many were injured. Initially, the authorities announced that more than 170 people had died, but later announced that the number of victims was fortunately somewhat lower.
According to the BBC, violence is so common at football matches in Indonesia that the authorities banned Persebaya Surabaya fans from buying tickets ahead of the derby. In practice, it was clearly different. The problem was also the overcrowding of the stadium – as the Indonesian Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs wrote on social networks after the event Mahfud MD42,000 tickets were sold for the match at the 38,000 capacity Kanjuruhan Stadium.
President Joko Widodo marked the event as “the country’s latest football tragedy”ordered a temporary ban on all matches in the country’s first football league and ordered a re-evaluation of security at matches.
FIFA has already requested a report on the incident from the Indonesian Football Association. It has already sent its investigators to the place, the head of the Indonesian organization, Yunus Nusi, told the representatives of the Seventh Force. Indonesia’s Amnesty International is also planning its own investigation, focusing on the possible unjustified use of tear gas and excessive use of force in the police response to the events. As Amnesty International Indonesia told Reuters, “excessive use of force to control and control such a crowd cannot be justified”.