sports

Stampede at football match in Indonesia kills over 120


Panic at an Indonesian football match after police fired tear gas to stop fights left 129 people dead, most trampled to death, police said on Sunday.

Several fights between fans of the two rival football teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in the city of Malang, East Java Province, after the Indonesian Premier League game ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3- 2.

The brawls that erupted just after the match ended late on Saturday prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among fans, East Java’s police chief said, Nico Afinta.

Hundreds of people ran to an exit door to avoid tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled on, killing 34 people almost instantly.

More than 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment of their injuries, but many died en route and during treatment, Afinta said.

He said the death toll was likely to continue to rise as the condition of many of the approximately 180 injured victims deteriorated.

Indonesia’s top league, BRI Liga 1, suspended games for a week after the game and an investigation has been opened, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) said.

There have been outbreaks of unrest at matches in Indonesia, with strong club rivalry sometimes leading to violence between fans.

Among global stadium disasters, 97 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in Britain in April 1989, when an overcrowded, fenced-off enclosure collapsed at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

Indonesia will host the FIFA Under-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 Euros, after China pulled out as hosts.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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