Indonesia suspends football matches as riot kills at least 174

Indonesia suspends football matches as riot kills at least 174

Fans invade the football field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia on Saturday in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video.
Fans invade the football field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia on Saturday in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered the temporary suspension of the local football league’s upcoming matches after a stampede at a stadium in East Java left at least 174 supporters and police dead.

The Football Association of Indonesia and the National Police Chief must conduct a thorough investigation and improve security procedures after violence broke out in a game between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday, Widodo said in a speech on Sunday.

“I regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last tragedy of football in the country,” said Jokowi, as the president is known. Indonesia is set to host the under-20s World Cup next year.

Visiting Arema fans stormed the field to chase players and officials after their team lost the game on Saturday, East Java Regional Police Chief Nico Afinta said in a Sunday press conference. Police responded by firing tear gas into the stands, which caused supporters to panic and rush to the exits where many were trampled. More than 30 people were killed in the stadium, while others died in nearby hospitals.

The Football Association of Indonesia has banned Arema from hosting games for the rest of the season, general chair Mochamad Iriawan said in a statement.


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