At least 174 people have been killed after rioting broke out at a soccer match in Indonesia.
The incident happened in the match between Arema and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java.
According to local media reports, the disturbance happened after Persebaya Surabaya won 3-2 and Arema fans walked onto the pitch after seeing their team lose.
It was reported that several players from Arema’s team were still present on the pitch when the violence began.
Local police fired tear gas into the crowd and a riot ensued.
Fans were seen carrying people who appeared unconscious as the stadium descended into utter chaos.
This was possibly one of the worst stadium disasters in the world, as more than 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals. However, many died en route or during treatment.
NOTE: At least 174 people have been killed after rioting at a soccer match in Indonesia.
Violence erupted at a stadium in East Java during a match between Arema and Persebaya Surabaya.
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Nico Afida, the East Java police chief, said during a press conference on Sunday: “We have already taken a precautionary measure before finally firing the tear gas as (the fans) started attacking the police, acting unruly and burning vehicles.” .
Persebaya Surabaya said on their official Twitter account: “The extended family of Persebaya deeply mourns the loss of life after the Arema FC vs. Persebaya match. No lonely life is worth football. We pray for the victims and for strength to be given to the families left behind.”
Football’s governing body, FIFA, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by referees or police at matches.
As a result of this incident, all remaining matches in BRI Ligue 1 were postponed and the Indonesian Football Association announced that Arema will not host any more matches for the rest of the season.
A former coach of Indonesia’s futsal team, Justinus Lhaksana, claimed this was not the first time there had been violence on pitches in the country, stating that fans entered the pitch “almost every weekend”.
He told Sky News: “This is not the first time we have had fatalities. But usually it’s one or two people who die after a fight.
“I am very sad that the right solution was not found before this happened.
“This is not a clash between two rivalries – this is simply a clash between frustrated fans and the police.”