New Delhi: At least 129 people were killed and 180 people injured at a soccer match after a crowd stampede during a riot in Indonesia’s East Java province overnight, reports said.
A clash broke out between supporters of Javanese clubs Arema and Persebaya Surabaya after the former were defeated at the match in Malang Regency, East Java.
According to reports, supporters of the losing home team invaded the pitch in East Java province on Saturday night to express their frustration, forcing the police to fire tear gas.
“In the incident, 129 people died, two of whom are police officers. 34 people died inside the stadium and the rest died in hospital,” East Java police chief Nico Afinta said in a statement on Sunday.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” Nico said.
Video footage from local news channels showed fans streaming onto the pitch in the stadium in Malang after Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya. Scuffles can be seen, with what appeared to be tear gas in the air.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s sports minister Zainudin Amali told a news agency that authorities would re-evaluate safety at football matches and consider not allowing spectators after a stampede killed 127 people.
“The Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 has suspended games for a week following the match that Persebaya won 3-2 and an investigation had been launched,” the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) said in a statement.
Expressing regret over the incident, Indonesia’s football association (PSSI) 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.
Indonesia’s human rights commission will now probe security at the ground, including the use of tear gas.