One of the greatest stadium catastrophes in history occurred during an Indonesian football match, killing at least 125 people.
After the host club, Arema FC, lost to their archrivals late on Saturday night at the packed stadium in Malang, East Java, hundreds of fans were injured.
The crush happened after police used tear gas to disperse supporters who had overrun the field.
Thousands of people rushed for the exits of Kanjuruhan stadium as panic ensued, and many of them were crushed to death.
The International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) prohibits the deployment of “crowd control gas” by match officials.
It was a “sad day for those engaged in football and a tragedy beyond understanding,” as president Gianni Infantino of the governing body put it.
After things became “heated” between police and fans, an eyewitness said the cops sprayed tear gas “continuously and rapidly.”
A hole was punched through the wall next to an exit gate, proving that people were so desperate to get out of there that they were willing to do anything.
Candles were left at the entrance by sympathisers in honour of the slain.
The doors themselves are outwardly tilted, indicating a great deal of internal energy.
The situation had “become anarchic,” as they put it. Security Forces
The initial death toll from the tragedy was reported to be as high as 174 individuals by Indonesian authorities, although this number was subsequently reduced.
In order to conduct an inquiry, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered a suspension of all matches in the country’s premier league.
After the final whistle signalled a 2-3 loss for the home team, videos from inside the stadium showed supporters surging onto the field, prompting authorities to use tear gas to disperse them.
“The situation had descended into anarchy. Police were attacked, and vehicles were vandalised “According to East Java’s police commander, Nico Afinta, two cops were among the fatalities.
“We want to demonstrate that… not everyone among them was a rebel. There were probably just a few thousand people who went to the stadium to see the pitch “… he made some remarks.
- Tragic events at this stadium are among the worst ever recorded.
Adherents abandon their stadiums “exited to a single location outside. Then it began to accumulate, and as a result, people began to have difficulty breathing and oxygen deprivation “the policeman said.
Fans have been seen on video jumping over barriers in an attempt to get away in social media posts. Multiple footage seem to show dead victims lying on the ground.
The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had started an investigation and that the incident had “sullied the reputation of Indonesian football.”
In Indonesia, violence at football games is nothing new, and Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya have been rivals for a long time.
But fans of Persebaya Surabaya were not allowed to buy tickets to the game out of fear that there would be fights.
Chief Security Minister Mahfud MD wrote on Instagram that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the match at Kanjuruhan stadium, which can hold up to 38,000 people.
President Widodo said that this should be the “last soccer tragedy in the country.” He then stopped all Liga 1 games until an investigation could be done.
‘It Was Bang, Bang, Bang’ – Eyewitness
Muhamad Dipo Maulana, who was at the game and is 21 years old, told BBC Indonesian that after the game, a few Arema fans went on the field to talk to the home team players, but they were stopped by police and “beaten.”
Then, the supporter said, more fans got on the field to protest, and the situation got “tense.”
Mr. Dipo told the BBC that police with dogs, shields, and soldiers came forward.
He said that he heard more than 20 shots of tear gas fired at people in the stadium.
“There were several pounding sounds. The sound came rapidly and again. The deafening noise impacted all of the stands “He said.
Mr. Dipo claimed to have seen crowds scrambling, scared, and choking as they tried to flee the stadium. According to an eyewitness, the tear gas affected numerous children and the elderly.
Among The Worst Football Blunders
The stampede is among the worst in a tragically long history of stadium catastrophes.
A stampede occurred during a Peru-Argentina Olympic qualification match in Lima in 1964, resulting in 320 deaths and over 1,000 injured.
During the European Cup final between Liverpool (England) and Juventus in 1985, fans were pushed into a wall that ultimately collapsed, killing 39 people and injuring 600 more at the Heysel stadium in Brussels, Belgium (Italy).
In 1989, a crush occurred at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England, killing 97 Liverpool fans who were there for their team’s FA Cup quarterfinal match versus Nottingham Forest.