At least 125 die in stampede at football match in Indonesia


At least 125 people have died in Indonesia following a stampede which happened on Saturday night after police fired teargas at thousands of football fans who had invaded the pitch.

The tragedy in Malang City is one of the world’s deadliest sporting stadium disasters.

Home team Arema FC’s lost to bitter rivals at the 42,000 capacity stadium and about 3,000 people stormed the pitch.

The BBC reported that the crush took place after police tear-gassed fans who invaded the pitch and as panic spread, thousands surged towards Kanjuruhan stadium’s exits, where many suffocated.

“Officers fired tear gas, and automatically people were rushing to come out, pushing each other and it caused many victims,” a 43-year-old spectator told the AFP news agency. “Nothing was happening, there was no riot. I don’t know what the issue was, they suddenly fired tear gas. That’s what shocked me, didn’t they think about kids, women?”

Reports indicate that vehicles outside the stadium were also torched, including at least five police cars and trucks.

According to the BBC, the Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has since ordered an investigation into the tragedy. He has also directed the country’s football association to suspend all matches until improvements on security are made.

“I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this football tragedy will be the last in our country,” Widodo said.

Reacting to the tragedy, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the football world was “in a state of shock”.


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