At least 129 killed after riot breaks out at football match

World

At least 129 people have been killed after a riot at a football match in Indonesia.

The violence broke out at a stadium in East Java during a game between Arema and Persebaya Surabaya.

Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya won 3-2 – and according to local reports, thousands of Arema fans went on to the pitch after their team lost.

It is also claimed that several Arema players who were still on the field at the time were attacked.

Soccer fans enter the pitch during a clash between supporters at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Clashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed over 100 fans and a number of police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
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Pic: AP

A stampede began when the police fired tear gas into the crowd.

Images showed people who appeared to be unconscious being carried away by other fans.

In what appears to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, more than 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals, but many died on the way or in treatment.

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East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta said about 180 people are injured, but many of them are in a deteriorating condition.

Plain-clothed officers stand near the wreckage of police vehicles damaged during a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. TClashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed over 100 fans and a number of police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
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Pic: AP

Some of the victims have sustained brain injuries – and one doctor told local media that a five-year-old was among those who had died.

A local health official said many of the victims died of “chaos, overcrowding, trampling and suffocation”.

Two of those killed at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang are reportedly police officers.

FIFA regulations state that no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by the police.

Security officers detain a fan during a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Clashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed over 100 fans and a number of police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
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Pic: AP

Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, has said on social media that the stadium was filled beyond capacity.

While the sporting venue is only supposed to hold 38,000 people, he claimed 42,000 tickets had been issued.

President Joko Widodo has instructed the authorities to thoroughly evaluate security standards at football matches.

Indonesia’s football league had said games would be suspended for a week – but Mr Widodo has ordered all matches to be postponed until the investigation is concluded.

Officers examine a damaged police vehicle following a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Clashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed over 100 fans and a number of police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
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Pic: AP

Arema has also been banned from hosting matches for the rest of the season. Further sanctions could follow.

There have been previous outbreaks of trouble at matches in Indonesia, with a strong rivalry between clubs sometimes sparking violence between supporters.

Justinus Lhaksana, a former coach for Indonesia’s national futsal team, told Sky News: “This is the not first time we have had deadly casualties. But usually it’s one or two people who die after a match.

“I’m very sad the right solution was not found way before this happened.”

Police officers and soldiers stand amid tear gas smoke during a soccer match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Clashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed over 100 fans and a number of police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
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Pic: AP

Mr Lhaksana claims fans in Indonesia enter the pitch “almost every weekend”, and such disturbances have been going on for years.

“This is not a clash between two rivalries – this is just a clash between disappointed fans and police.”

The commentator said it is not acceptable that fans are able to go on football pitches after matches, and warned security measures must be tightened.

He expressed hope that such an incident will never happen again.

The chair of the country’s football association, Mochamad Iriawan, has apologised to families of the victims.

He added that the incident “really tarnishes the face of Indonesian football”.

More than a dozen vehicles were set alight within the grounds of the stadium, and many of them were police cars.

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