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Indonesia Stadium Tragedy: Videos Show Panic and at Least 174 Dead

Officials reported that a stampede and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia resulted in at least 174 fatalities and 180 injuries.

After the game on Saturday night, when the home team Arena FC of East Java’s Malang city lost to Persebaya of Surabaya 3-2, riots broke out. The team’s 23-year streak of unbeaten home games came to an end with the loss.

The Associated Press reported that thousands of fans of the losing home team reacted by hurling bottles and other objects at players and officials.

East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta told reporters that when fans invaded the Kanjuruhan Stadium pitch, officers fired tear gas, causing a stampede and cases of suffocation.

According to Afinta, more than 300 patients were taken to hospitals in a hurry, but many of them passed away while receiving care.

“It had become chaotic. According to Reuters, Afinta claimed that they “started attacking officers and wrecking cars.”

Videos from nearby news outlets and posts on social media showed fans fighting with police on the field and running from what appeared to be tear gas in the atmosphere. Some pictures appeared to show spectators who had passed out on the field.

Warning. Graphic content

Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, urged authorities to carefully assess match security and expressed the hope that this would be “the last soccer tragedy in the country.”

He ruled that until an investigation was finished, all matches in Indonesia’s top league, BRI Liga 1, would be postponed.

The Liga 1 has been placed on indefinite suspension by Indonesia’s PSSI soccer federation, and Arema FC has been prohibited from hosting games for the remainder of the current campaign.

Due to concerns about fights, Persebaya supporters were not permitted to purchase tickets for the game on Saturday. Mahfud MD, Indonesia’s chief security minister, wrote on Instagram that the stadium was overflowing. At a stadium with a declared capacity of 38,000, he claimed that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the game.

Warning. Graphic content

The use of tear gas by the police has received attention, despite FIFA’s ban on the substance in soccer stadiums.

The use of tear gas was not mentioned in the statement from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who called it “a dark day for all involved in football” and “a tragedy beyond comprehension.”

Police use of tear gas, according to Amnesty International Indonesia, is to blame for the tragedy.

Usman Hamid, the organization’s executive director, said, “We call on authorities to conduct a swift, thorough, and independent investigation into the use of tear gas at the stadium and ensure that those who are found to have violated the law are tried in open court and not merely receive internal or administrative sanctions.”

Tear gas should only be used to disperse crowds when there has been significant violence and when all other measures have failed, according to Hamid.

He said, “This loss of life cannot go unanswered.” The deaths happened after a stampede broke out at the stadium exits as a result of police use of tear gas on the crowd, according to the police themselves.

Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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