At least 129 people were killed and scores were injured after a clash between supporters of two rival soccer teams in Indonesia prompted crackdown by police that led to stampede. Most of the victims were trampled to death after police fired tear gas to stop brawls, police said Sunday.
The incident occurred inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city during an Indonesian Premier League game. East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters that officers fired tear gas in an attempt to control the situation after supporters of the losing home team invaded the pitch to express their frustration, reported Reuters.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” Nico said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered the country’s sports and youth minister, national police chief and Indonesian football association chief “to conduct a thorough evaluation of football matches and the security procedures.”
Social media was aflush with videos of the tragic incident in which angry football fans were seen clashing post the match that ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3-2.
Indonesia’s football association (PSSI) has suspended games for a week following the riot and has also prohibited Arema FC from hosting for the rest of the competition this season.
PSSI issued a statement late Saturday night expressing regret over the incident and said a team has left for Malang to start an investigation into what happened after the game
“PSSI regrets the actions of Arema supporters at the Kanjuruhan Stadium. We are sorry and apologize to the families of the victims and all parties for the incident. For that PSSI immediately formed an investigation team and immediately left for Malang,” the statement read.
(With inputs from agencies)