at least 174 dead after crowd movement at football match
At least 174 people died in a crowd movement at a football stadium in Malang, Indonesia, according to a new report. Fans of the Arema FC team took to the pitch after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya. It was the first time in more than twenty years that Arema FC had lost to their great rival.
The police tried to persuade fans to return to the stands. She fired tear gas after the death of two police officers, which caused scenes of panic. Many fans were trampled to death in the football stadium.
« Police threw tear gas, and people immediately rushed out, pushing each other and that caused a lot of casualties »told AFP Doni, a 43-year-old spectator. « There was nothing, no riots. I don’t know what happened, they suddenly threw tear gas, » he said. « What shocked me is that they didn’t think of women and children? »
Indonesian president orders investigation
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday ordered an investigation into the security of football matches in the country. He asked the National Football Association to suspend all games until « security improvements ». « I deeply regret this tragedy and hope that this football-related tragedy will be the last in our wake, » he said in a televised address.
The Indonesian government has apologized, as has the Indonesian Football Association, which has suspended all matches scheduled for this week. « We are sorry and we apologize to the families of the victims, » said its president.
The stadium contained 42,000 people and was full according to the authorities. Some 3,000 of them invaded the field in anger after the match.
Fan violence a problem in Indonesia
Fan violence is a problem in Indonesia, where long-running rivalries have turned into deadly clashes. Some matches — the most important being the derby between Persija Jakarta and Persib Bandung — are so tense that players from top teams have to go there under heavy protection.
Indonesia is due to host the U-20 World Cup competition next year at several stadiums across the country, but Malang is not one of them.
Such a drama is unfortunately not a first. In 1989, a mob at Hillsborough stadium in Britain killed 97 Liverpool fans and in 2012 Egypt’s Port Said stadium suffered another tragedy with 74 dead.