At least 125 dead in riots at Indonesian soccer match
October 2, 2022
(MALANG, Indonesia) -- At least 125 people died after a soccer match in Indonesia, where police fired tear gas into crowds of rioting fans, causing a stampede, officials said.
East Java Vice Governor Emil Dardak told a local news station Sunday that at least 125 died in the incident. Authorities revised the death toll after previously counting some fatalities twice. Local media reported about 180 others were injured.
“I regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last tragedy of football in the country,” Widodo said in a statement.
The deaths followed football club Arema FC’s 3-2 loss to visiting Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, in Malang, East Java.
The 42,000-seat stadium hosts games from the Liga 1 league of the professional Football Association of Indonesia, known locally as PSSI.
“We are mourning and apologize to the families of the victims and all parties over the incident,” PSSI Chief Mochamad Iriawan said in a statement. “For that, PSSI immediately formed an investigation team and immediately left for Malang.”
Widodo ordered the league suspended. He called for an investigation into the deaths, along with “a thorough evaluation of the implementation of football matches and also the security procedures for their implementation.”
Videos and photos from the stadium appeared to show fans rioting in the stands and rushing the pitch. Other images showed police officers in riot gear on the field, with smoke from what appeared to be tear gas billowing from the stands.
At least two police officers were among the victims, officials said.
The event ranks among the deadliest soccer riots in history. The two previous deadliest riots that involved tear gas use occurred in Peru in 1964, when 318 people were killed, and in Ghana in 2001, when 126 people were killed.
FIFA, soccer’s governing body, includes among its regulations for pitchside stewards: “No firearms or 'crowd control gas' shall be carried or used.”
"The football world is in a state of shock following the tragic incidents that have taken place in Indonesia at the end of the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at the Kanjuruhan Stadium," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
“This is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following this tragic incident," he said. "Together with FIFA and the global football community, all our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those who have been injured, together with the people of the Republic of Indonesia, the Asian Football Confederation, the Indonesian Football Association, and the Indonesian Football League, at this difficult time.”
Authorities in Indonesia have revised the death toll following the stampede at a soccer match on Sunday to at least 125 after previously counting some fatalities twice.
-ABC News’ Victoria Arancio, Karson Yiu, Tomek Rolski and Randy Mulyanto contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.