What Caused The Indonesian Football Tragedy That Claimed 174 Lives?

Exactly what transpired at the Malang, East Java, stadium to cause such a massive loss of life? Can you name some other tragic events that took place in stadiums, both in India and elsewhere?

On Saturday night, rioting and a stampede broke out at a football game in Indonesia, killing more than 170 people and injuring 180 more.

Is there any way to find out what went wrong at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java, that caused so many deaths? Can you name some other tragic events that took place in stadiums, both in India and elsewhere?

The Indonesian Football Match What Happened?

Indonesians have a strong affinity for the sport of football, which can lead to heated rivalries between fans on the eve of important matches. The use of tear gas by police only added to the chaos that was already present in Malang.

On Saturday, Arema FC hosted Persebaya Surabaya, one of their biggest rivals. The only Arema fans who were allowed in were there to prevent a riot between the opposing teams supporters.

When Persebaya won 3-2, however, thousands of angry fans stormed the field and began throwing bottles and other objects at the players and officials. An Associated Press article claims that the rioting continued outside, where some participants tipped over and damaged police vehicles.

The police then opened fire with tear gas, sending people running for safety. Tickets for 42,000 people were sold, even though the stadium could only hold 38,000. An estimated 174 people were killed in the stampede and subsequent suffocation, including a five-year-old boy and two police officers. According to reports, many of the injured are in extremely serious shape.

Nico Afinta, the chief of police in East Java, was quoted by the BBC as saying, It had gotten anarchic. They began assaulting police and vandalizing vehicles. It is important to stress that not everyone involved was a violent anarchist. Only a few thousand people attended the game.

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So, What Happens Now

FIFAs safety regulations forbid the use of any form of crowd control gas or firearms. Authorities in East Java did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, the Indonesian Football Federation PSSI has sent a team to Malang to investigate after receiving a request to report the incident from FIFA.

The government has pledged to provide financial aid to those who have been affected by the Malang tragedy.

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President Joko Widodo of Indonesia has requested an investigation. In addition, he demanded that the top soccer division be put on hold while the league reevaluated its security measures.

Minister of Sports and Youth in Indonesia Zainudin Amali has stated, We will thoroughly evaluate the organization of the match and the attendance of supporters. Will we once again allow fans to attend games? That is the topic of our conversation.

Until the end of the season, Arema will not be allowed to host any football games by the Indonesian Football Association.

Past Football-Related Violence Incidents in Indonesia

Supporters of opposing teams, both domestic and international, frequently clash in Indonesia. The Associated Press reported that in 2019, during a World Cup qualifier in Jakarta, Malaysian fans threatened and pelted with projectiles, and that the visiting sports minister of Malaysia had to be evacuated from the stadium.

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Other Stadium Tragedies

Numerous spectators have lost their lives in tragic accidents at sporting events over the years.

In a stampede and subsequent riot at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on August 16, 1980, 16 people were killed while watching a high-stakes Mohun Bagan vs. East Bengal Calcutta Football League match.

When East Bengals Dilip Palit and Mohun Bagans Bidesh Bose got into it on the field, it sparked a brawl between the two teams supporters. When fans of the two teams were seated together, violence broke out.

Meanwhile, the game went on as normal because no one on the field could see how bad the situation was in the stands. In time, August 16 became known as Football Fans Day.

The 1964 Olympic qualifying match between Peru and Argentina in Lima ended in a stampede that killed 320 people, making it one of the worst stadium tragedies in history.

Locally, in March 1988, 90 people were killed at Kathmandus national football stadium as fans rushed towards locked gates during a hailstorm.

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