Indonesia football riot: More than 174 people killed after stampede at match

The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.

Images captured from inside the stadium during the stampede showed huge amounts of tear gas and people clambering over fences.

Images captured from inside the stadium during the stampede showed huge amounts of tear gas and people clambering over fences. | Photo Credit: AFP

The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.

At least 174 people died at an Indonesian football stadium when thousands of angry home fans invaded the pitch and police responded with tear gas that triggered a stampede, authorities said on Sunday.

The tragedy on Saturday night in the city of Malang, which also left 180 injured, was one of the world's deadliest sporting stadium disasters.

Arema FC supporters at the Kanjuruhan stadium stormed the pitch after their team lost 3-2 to the visiting team and bitter rival, Persebaya Surabaya.

Police, who described the unrest as "riots", said they tried to force fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas after two officers were killed.

Many of the victims were trampled or choked to death, according to police.

At least 174 people died, East Java deputy governor Emil Dardak told broadcaster Kompas TV on Sunday afternoon, raising the toll from 129.

Major stadium disasters
Other stadium disasters include a 1989 crush in the stands at the UK’s Hillsborough Stadium, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans. Then there was the 2012 Port Said stadium tragedy in Egypt where 74 people died in clashes.
In 1964, 320 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured during a stampede at a Peru-Argentina Olympic qualifier at Lima’s national stadium.

Images captured from inside the stadium during the stampede showed huge amounts of tear gas and people clambering over fences.

People were carrying injured spectators through the chaos.

Torched vehicles, including a police truck, littered the streets outside the stadium on Sunday morning.

A group of people carry a man at the stadium during the violence. 

A group of people carry a man at the stadium during the violence.  | Photo Credit: AFP

The Indonesian government apologised for the incident and promised to investigate the circumstances surrounding the stampede.

"We're sorry for this incident... this is a regrettable incident that 'injures' our football at a time when supporters can watch football matches from the stadium," Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali told broadcaster Kompas.

"We will thoroughly evaluate the organisation of the match and the attendance of supporters. Will we return to banning supporters from attending the matches? That is what we will discuss."

The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) suspended football matches for one week, banned Arema FC from hosting home games for the rest of the season and said it would send an investigation team to Malang to establish the cause of the crush.

"We're sorry and apologise to families of the victims and all parties over the incident," PSSI chairman Mochamad Iriawan said.

Fan violence is a problem in Indonesia, where deep rivalries have previously turned into deadly confrontations.

Some matches -- the biggest being the Old Indonesia Derby between Persija Jakarta and Persib Bandung -- are so heated players from top teams have to travel to away games under heavy protection.

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