One of the biggest sporting tragedies in history resulted in at least 125 deaths during a riot at a football match in Indonesia, the majority of whom were crushed to death after police used tear gas. Thousands of Arema supporters flooded the field and hurled bottles and other projectiles at players and referees in response to their team’s first home loss to the rival club in 23 years.
Outside the stadium, where fights broke out, at least five police cars were turned over and set afire. During the Indonesia football match, riot police reacted by firing tear gas, especially toward the stadium’s stands, which caused terror among the spectators. FIFA, the world’s football governing body, has banned tear gas in football grounds. As hundreds of people fled to the exit in an effort to get away from the chemical, some of them were crushed and some were suffocated.
Some local authorities reported 174 fatalities, however, East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak indicated the number has since been lowered down to 125. He claimed that more people will likely pass away because many of the estimated 180 injured people who were still seeking medical attention were becoming worse. The premier league has been put on indefinite hiatus by Indonesia’s football organization, PSSI, in response to the tragedy, and Arema has been prohibited from holding games for the remainder of the year.
He gave the go-ahead for a thorough examination of the game and its security procedures from the sports minister, national police chief, and PSSI chairman. 42,000 spectators, all of whom were Arema supporters because the organizer had forbidden Persebaya supporters from entering the stadium in an effort to prevent disturbance, attended the game on Saturday, according to Malang police head Ferli Hidayat. Hooliganism is rampant in football-crazed Indonesia, where fervor frequently turns violent as seen by the 2018 murder of a Persija Jakarta fan by a crowd of fervent Persib Bandung supporters.
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