At least 125 people have been killed in one of the worst stadium tragedies in history after Indonesian police tried to stop rioters from invading the pitch.
People were packed into the Kanjuruhan stadium in East Java on Saturday night to watch rival football clubs Arema and Persebaya Surabaya.
Arema, who has long defeated Persebaya Surabaya unexpectedly lost the game, causing home side fans to storm the pitch and riot against the result.
Police could be seen hitting, kicking, and pushing fans off the field and as a deterrent several officers fired tear gas into one of the stands in the stadium, causing spectators to stampede to the nearest exit and leading to over 125 confirmed deaths.
It’s believed that most people died of suffocation and trampling said Wiyanto Wijoyo, head of the Malang Regency Health Office.
According to local police, a crowd stampede at a football match in Indonesia's East Java province has left at least 120 people dead and 180 others injured.
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Among the chaos it’s been estimated that over 30 of the suspected 125 people who were killed, were children aged 3-17 with a further 300 people injured. Two police officers were also killed.
FIFA has condemned the actions taken by authorities saying that no “crowd control gas” should be used or carried by authorities at football matches.
“This is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following this tragic incident,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo addressed the nation, offering his condolences to the families of victims and said that the PSSI football league has been temporarily suspended.
129 killed in riot & stampede at football match in Indonesia after home team’s loss to arch rival in East Java pic.twitter.com/aIJiILHiyM
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An investigation has been opened into the incident to determine how the situation got out of control with Amnesty International urging for an independent review.
“[Authorities should] conduct a swift, thorough, and independent investigation” to “ensure that those who are found to have committed violations are tried in open court and do not merely receive internal or administrative sanctions,” they said.
There were 42,000 spectators in the stadium which exceeded the max capacity by 4,000 people.