At least 129 people, including two police officers, were killed and almost 200 were injured in an outbreak of violence after a soccer match, when fans jumped onto the field because their team had lost on the Indonesian island of Java, police sources said Sunday.
The Police, who used tear gas, indicated that the disturbances occurred on Saturday night at the Kanjuruhan stadium in the city of Malang, in the province of East Java, in a match in which the Arema team was defeated 2-3 by the Persebaya Surabaya.
As East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta explained at a press conference, 34 people lost their lives inside the stadium, while the others died in hospital.
About 180 other people were injured and are under medical treatment in various hospitals in the region, with different levels of injuries.
Most of the deaths occurred as a result of the stampede of the fans, when dozens of them suffocated, since it was “a space full of people, which caused difficulty breathing (and) lack of oxygen,” he said. the commissioner.
After the tragedy, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, expressed “his deepest condolences” and announced that he has requested “an exhaustive evaluation of the execution of football matches” and “the security procedures for their celebration”, as well as an investigation to “find out in depth” the events in Malang.
“I have asked the Minister of Health and the Governor of East Java to supervise special medical services for the victims who are being treated in hospitals so that they have the best service,” the president added in a televised speech.
The spiral of violence began when some 3,000 fans of the losing team stormed the pitch and began attacking the players, sparking a fierce clash with security forces, who used tear gas in an attempt to stop the attacks.
The use of these gases by the Police was criticized by some international entities, such as Amnesty International, which urged the Indonesian authorities to carry out a “quick, exhaustive and independent investigation into the use of tear gas in the stadium.”
The organization emphasized that “tear gas should never be fired in confined spaces” due to its high level of danger and recalled that FIFA stadium safety regulations prohibit the transport or use of so-called “gas control of crowds”.
“Tear gas should only be used to disperse crowds when there has been widespread violence and when other methods have failed. People should be warned that tear gas will be used and allowed to disperse,” Amnesty’s executive director said in a note. Indonesian International, Usman Hamid.
After the “dismaying” incident, the country’s soccer league suspended all matches for a week, while the Football Association (PSSI) announced the opening of an investigation to find out the facts.
The tragedy is already considered one of the deadliest in world football history.