At least 129 people were killed and around 180 injured at a soccer match in Indonesia after a crowd stampede during a riot, police said on Sunday, in what appears to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
After the match in East Java province between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya ended on Saturday night, supporters of the losing team invaded the pitch and police fired tear gas, leading to a stampede and suffocation, he said. East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta told reporters.
Video footage from local news channels showed people running onto the pitch at the Malang stadium and images of body bags.
There have been previous outbreaks of match problems in Indonesia, with strong rivalry between clubs sometimes leading to violence between fans.
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Zainudin Amali, Indonesia’s sports minister, told KompasTV that the ministry would reassess security at soccer matches, including the possibility of not allowing spectators in stadiums.
Indonesia’s top league, BRI Liga 1, suspended games for a week after the match that Persebaya won 3-2 and an investigation has been launched, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said.
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Among the world’s stadium disasters, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in Britain in April 1989, when an overcrowded, fenced-in arena collapsed at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
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Indonesia will host the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are also one of three countries bidding to host next year’s Asian Cup, the continental equivalent of the European Championship, after China withdrew as host.