1664694381 Indonesia At least 174 dead including a 5 year old

Indonesia: At least 174 dead, including a 5 year old child, after a crowd movement during a soccer match

A terrible tragedy struck Indonesia this Saturday, October 1: at least 174 people died in mob movements at a stadium in Malang during a football match after fans stormed the pitch after their team’s defeat.

Indonesia woke up in mourning this Sunday, October 2nd, to one of the worst tragedies ever to hit a stadium. At least 174 people died in a mass movement when thousands of fans stormed into a soccer field and were tear gassed.

The tragedy, which took place in the town of Malang east of the island of Java on Saturday night, October 1, also left around 180 injured in this Southeast Asian archipelago where rivalries between fans often end in disaster. Arema FC team fans took to the pitch at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang City after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

Large amounts of tear gas

It was the first time in more than twenty years that Arema FC lost to its great rival. Police, who described the incident as a “riot,” tried to convince fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas after two officers were killed. Many victims were trampled to death. Survivors described panicked onlookers being held down by crowds as police fired tear gas.

Nanti-nanti mah kalau musim depan laga derby kaya Persib vs Persija terus Persebaya vs Arema dls, mending gausah ada penonton yg dari luar pulau biar ga nambah-nambah lg korban jiwa kya begini anjir rusuh. Udh lebih dari 50 nyawa melayang cuma gara-gara pertandingan bola yaelahhh pic.twitter.com/w9DKL4mF2U

— Rrrrr. (@pineapplecute_) October 1, 2022

The police initially used tear gas.

The police initially used tear gas. MAXPPP-H. PRABOWO

Footage captured at the stadium shows a huge amount of tear gas and people clinging to the barriers, trying to escape. Others carried injured passers-by and made their way through the chaos. “Police threw tear gas and people immediately rushed out and pushed each other, causing many casualties,” said Doni, a 43-year-old spectator. “There was nothing, no riots. I don’t know what happened, they suddenly sent tear gas, he said. What shocked me was that they didn’t think about women and children?”

One of the victims is only 5 years old

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered “a full assessment of football matches and security procedures” on Sunday following the incident. He urged the National Football Association to suspend all games until “safety improvements” are made. “I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this football-related tragedy will be the last in our wake,” he said in a televised address.

Thousands of fans, including children, attended the stadium.

Thousands of fans, including children, attended the stadium. MAXPPP-H. PRABOWO

A hospital director told local television that one of the victims was only five years old. The stadium held 42,000 people and was full, according to the authorities. About 3,000 of them stormed the field in anger after the game.

A harrowing spectacle in front of the stadium on Sunday morning testified to the unrest of the day before: charred vehicles, including a police truck, were on the streets. The police reported 13 burned vehicles. The Indonesian government has apologized for this incident. “We are sorry for this incident (…) It is an unfortunate incident that ‘hurts’ our football at a time when fans are able to attend a game in a stadium after a long disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Indonesian Minister of Sports and Youth Zainudin Amali told the Kompas Channel.

Fan violence is a problem in Indonesia

Mea culpa also on the part of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), which has suspended all games scheduled for this week. “We are sorry and apologize to the families of the victims and everyone involved in this incident,” said PSSI President Mochamad Iriawan.

The security forces tried to prevent the invasion of the ground.

The security forces tried to prevent the invasion of the ground. MAXPPP-H. PRABOWO

Fan violence is a problem in Indonesia, where longstanding rivalries have resulted in deadly clashes. Some matches – the most important being the Persija Jakarta-Persib Bandung derby – are so tense that players from top teams have to go there under heavy protection. Persebaya Surabaya fans were not allowed to purchase tickets for the game for fear of incident.

The head of the Asian Football Confederation expressed his regret at the loss of life. “I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news from Indonesia, a country that loves football,” Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.

Indonesia is set to host next year’s U-20 World Cup in multiple stadiums across the country, but Malang is not one of them.

In 1989, a mob killed 97 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough Stadium in the UK, and in 2012 Egypt’s Port Said Stadium suffered another tragedy that left 74 dead. In 1964, a crowd at Lima’s National Stadium during a qualifying match between Peru and Argentina killed 320 and injured more than a thousand.