Indonesia records one of the worst football disasters
A crush at an Indonesian football match has killed at least 174, people making it one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
Around 180 people were also injured in the aftermath of Arema FC loss to bitter rivals, at an overcrowded stadium in Malang East Java late on Saturday.
The crush occurred after police used tear gas on fans who had invaded the pitch. As panic spread, thousands rushed to the Kanjuruhan stadium exits, where many died from suffocation.
According to Fifa, the world’s governing football body, no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police officers at matches.
According to one eyewitness, police fired numerous tear gas rounds “constantly and quickly” after the situation with the fans became “tense.”
Fifa President Gianni Infantino called it a “dark day for football and a tragedy beyond comprehension.”
‘It had become anarchic,’ police said.
Early reports put the death toll at around 130, but officials later raised it to 174, with 11 more seriously injured.
President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top flight be halted until an investigation is completed.
Police used tear gas, causing a crowd crush and suffocation cases. Videos from the stadium show fans running onto the pitch after the final whistle, signaling the home team’s 2-3 defeat, and police responding with tear gas.
“It had devolved into anarchy. They began attacking officers and causing damage to vehicles “According to Nico Afinta, East Java’s police chief, two police officers were killed.
“We’d like to emphasize that… not all of them were anarchists. Only about 3,000 people participated in the pitch “He stated.
Fans who are fleeing “went out to a single point near the exit Then there was a build-up, which resulted in shortness of breath and a lack of oxygen “, the officer continued.
Fans can be seen clambering over fences to escape in videos posted on social media. Separate videos show lifeless bodies on the ground.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said an investigation had been launched and that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football.”
Football violence is nothing new in Indonesia, and Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya have long been rivals.
However, Persebaya Surabaya fans were barred from purchasing tickets for the game due to concerns about clashes.
Chief Security Minister Mahfud MD announced on Instagram that 42,000 tickets for the match at Kanjuruhan stadium, which has a stated capacity of 38,000, had been sold.
After ordering that all Liga 1 games be halted pending an investigation, President Widodo called for this to be the “last soccer tragedy in the nation.”
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Muhamad Dipo Maulana, a supporter, said he saw people suffocating while attempting to exit the stadium. More spectators then took to the pitch in protest, he said, adding that the situation became “tense.”
Mr Dipo told the BBC that “police with dogs, shields, and soldiers came forward.”
He claimed to have heard more than 20 tear gas shots fired at stadium spectators.
“There was a lot of banging, banging, banging! The sound was fast and continuous. The sound was extremely loud and was directed toward all of the stands “He continued.
Mr Dipo described seeing people in disarray, panicking, and suffocating as they attempted to flee the stadium. The tear gas also affected many children and the elderly, according to the eyewitness.
The stampede is one of the worst in a long line of tragic stadium disasters. A stampede at a Peru-Argentina Olympic qualifier in Lima in 1964 killed 320 people and injured over 1,000 more.
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Another football tragedy happened in Ghana, a West African country in the year 2001. 127 loving fans lost their live in a Rivalry game between, Hearts Of Oak and Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium. As per report more 350 people sustain massive injuries and this incidence brought the whole continent in sorrow.
In 1985, 39 people were killed and 600 were injured when fans were crushed against a wall that then collapsed during the European Cup final between Liverpool (England) and Juventus in Brussels, Belgium (Italy).
In the United Kingdom, a crush occurred at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, killing 97 Liverpool fans who were attending the club’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.