Video of the chaos that erupted after a football match in Indonesia on Saturday night shows just how horrific the clash between fans and police was.
Panic and a disorderly rush for exits after police fired tear gas at the match to scare away fans upset over the loss of their team left at least 125 dead, most of whom were trampled or suffocated, making it a one of the deadliest sporting events in the world.
“Unfortunately, this incident has certainly damaged our football image,” Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said.
Gianni Infantino, president of international soccer’s governing body FIFA, called the deaths at the stadium “a dark day for everyone involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension”, while Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation of security procedures. While FIFA has no control over domestic matches, it has discouraged the use of tear gas in soccer stadiums.
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The violence erupted after the game ended on Saturday night with host Arema FC from Malang city in East Java losing to Persebaya from Surabaya 3-2.
Another 180 people were injured in the incident, Reuters reports.
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Some local officials had put the death toll at 174, but East Java deputy governor Emil Dardak said the death toll had later been revised to 125 because authorities found some victims were double counted.
The Indonesian football association, known as PSSI, has indefinitely suspended the main football league, Liga 1, in light of the tragedy and banned Arema from hosting football matches for the rest of the season.
Indonesia is due to host the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup from May 20 to June 11, with 24 participating teams. As the host, the country automatically qualifies for the cup.
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Saturday’s match is already among the world’s worst crowd disasters, including the 1996 World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Costa Rica in Guatemala City, where more than 80 people were killed and more than 100 injured. . In April 2001, more than 40 people were crushed to death during a football match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.