At least 125 dead after violence at football match in Indonesia
Jakarta, Oct 02: At least 125 people killed and several injured after clashes broke out following a football match in the East Java province. The incident took place after the host team, Arema FC, lost to a rival team and angry supporters invaded the football pitch triggering a stampede-like situation.
Local news channels showed video footage where fans were rushing onto the pitch in the stadium in Malang and images of body bags.
"34 people died in the stadium, and the rest died at a hospital. Another 180 people were also injured during the stampede," the provincial chief was quoted saying by DW news.
Most of the people died from suffocation during the stampede, Afinta added.
Witnesses described officers beating them with sticks and shields before shooting tear gas canisters directly into the crowds. It was among the deadliest disasters ever at a sporting event.
President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation of security procedures, and the president of FIFA called the deaths "a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension."
Witnesses said the fans flooded the Kanjuruhan Stadium pitch and demanded that Arema management explain why, after 23 years of undefeated home matches against Persebaya, this one ended in a defeat.
At least five police vehicles were toppled and set ablaze outside the stadium.
Following the incident, the Football Association of Indonesia (PFFI) suspended the football league for a week.
Afinta, the police chief, said authorities had recommended that the match should be attended by Arema fans only because of fierce rivalry between the two clubs.
Earlier also, the strong rivalry between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya has led to violence among supporters.
with agency inputs