Indonesia: 174 die in stampede after football fans invade pitch
At least 174 persons died and 180 were injured in a stampede at a football match in Indonesia's East Java province late on Saturday, AFP reported quoting East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta. The stampede was triggered after the police used tear gas to remove the losing team's supporters who had overrun the pitch after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya.
What did the police chief say?
"It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars," Nico stated, adding the crowd swarmed at an exit gate as they escaped, triggering the stampede. Many local news outlets showed videos of people rushing onto the pitch in the Malang stadium as well as images of body bags. Images also showed people who had lost consciousness being taken away by other supporters.
Watch video of the incident shared on Twitter
BREAKING: At least 127 people killed, 180 injured in riot at football stadium in Indonesia, police say pic.twitter.com/WmuI67yJoi— BNO News (@BNONews) October 1, 2022
Five-year-old among dead; many injured suffered brain damage
Several injured people were rushed to local hospitals immediately after the incident. According to medical authorities who spoke to Metro TV, several of the survivors had brain injuries, and the deceased also included a five-year-old child. Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa told the media that the relatives of the deceased, as well as the injured, will get financial assistance from the government.
Police violated FIFA standards by using teargas on people: Experts
According to Reuters, Indonesia's human rights commission intends thoroughly investigate the deployment of security on the ground and the use of tear gas on people. Experts argued that the police had violated FIFA's safety standards, according to which using firearms and "crowd control gas" is not allowed to be carried or utilized by stewards or police officers on spectators.
'Will re-evaluate safety during football events'
Meanwhile, Indonesia's chief security minister, Mahfud MD, alleged that the stadium was filled beyond its capacity during the football match. He said that 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium that is only designed to house 38,000 people. Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali stated they would re-evaluate safety during football events and would also consider not allowing spectators in stadiums.
The aftereffects of the incident
According to the Football Association of Indonesia, the Indonesian top league, BRI Liga 1, has stopped games for a week and an investigation has been launched. Notably, Indonesia was scheduled to host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next year. They are also one of three contenders for the Asian Cup, the continent's equivalent of the Euros, after China rejected to host.