Indonesia stadium tragedy: At least 127 people reported dead following soccer match, police say – CNN
There are at least 127 dead and dozens more injured after chaos and violence broke out late on Saturday following an Indonesian league soccer match between two of the nation’s biggest clubs.
During a match in Malang, East Java, fans of Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya clashed after Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.
The losing team’s supporters “invaded” the pitch and police fired tear gas, causing a stampede that led to suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta said during a press conference.
Nico began by stating that there had been a riot.
According to him, 127 people, including two police officers, have died as a result of Saturday’s incident. He added that close to 200 people were injured as well.
Several videos posted on social media late last night showed red-and-blue-clad fans storming the field and clashing with Indonesian security forces.
Images of body bags were also seen on local news channels, according to Reuters.
It was shown later in videos that smoke, which appeared to be tear gas, was also seen, as several people were carried into a building. It was unclear how severe their injuries were. According to officials, many were admitted to nearby hospitals due to “lack of oxygen and shortness of breath.”
When Arema FC lost 2-3 to Persebaya Surabaya, Nico reported that their fans stormed the field to vent their rage.
Located in East Java, Kanjuruhan Stadium holds up to 42,500 people and is mostly used for soccer matches.
Indonesian football’s name is being tarnished
Despite the fact that officials are yet to confirm how many people attended Saturday’s late night match, video footage and pictures taken by fans show full stands.
In the past, there have been incidents of violence among fans at matches in Indonesia, as a result of strong rivalry between clubs.
As a result of the deadly tragedy, the Indonesian Football Association has suspended matches next week and banned Arema FC from hosting games for the remainder of the season.
PSSI’s chairman, Mochamad Iriawan, expressed regret over the conduct of Aremania fans at Kanjuruhan Stadium.
According to him, the incident “tarnished the image of Indonesian football” and they were supporting official investigations.
“We apologize to the families of the victims and to all parties involved in this incident,” he said.
“As a result, PSSI immediately formed an investigation team and left for Malang,” he explained.
Attempts by reporters to contact FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, went unanswered.
According to a Persebaya statement, “Persebaya’s big family sends their deepest condolences to the families of those lost after the Arema FC vs. Persebaya match.” No life is worth football.”
“Alfatihah for the victims and may the surviving families find strength.”
For more coverage on this story, check the following additional news sources:
- Indonesia stadium tragedy: At least 127 people reported dead following soccer match, police say CNN
- Indonesian soccer match riot, stampede leaves more than 120 dead ESPN
- 127 soccer fans, police, killed at Indonesia’s soccer match The Washington Post
- Nightmare on the field: Dozens dead after all-out brawl in Indonesian league Marca English
- 127 soccer fans, police, killed at Indonesia’s soccer match ABC News