Stampede, police response leaves 125 dead, hundreds injured after Indonesian soccer match

Indonesian soccer match turns violent.
screengrab soccer match stampede indonesia

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Fans and families are demanding answers after an Indonesian soccer match left 125 dead and more than 300 injured on Saturday night, creating one of the worst stadium disasters in history.

At the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java over the weekend, angry Arema Football Club fans led a stampede following their team’s 3-2 loss to rivals Persebaya Surabaya — its first to Persebaya at home in 23 years.

Visibly angry over the defeat, video shows Arema fans running onto the pitch in protest while security officers fired tear gas into the crowd, causing more mayhem and forcing hundreds to funnel through narrow exits. Several survivors claimed that they were beaten by police amid the chaos.

Fans are calling for the government to launch an independent investigation into the deadly game and probe why tear gas was used on fans inside a stadium, a violation of guidelines set by the sport’s governing body, FIFA. East Java police officials confirmed tear gas was used and admitted they were forced to control “rioting” fans. 

Since the event, a police chief and nine officers were suspended, while 18 others are being investigated. Indonesia will compensate the families of victims providing them with 50 million rupiahs (roughly $3,254) for each victim.

President Joko Widodo has ordered the football association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league until an investigation is complete.

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