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At least 125 football fans dead after stampede and riots on pitch

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At least 125 football fans dead after stampede and riots on pitch
At least 125 football fans dead after stampede and riots on pitch
At least 125 football fans dead after stampede and riots on pitch
At least 125 football fans dead after stampede and riots on pitch

epa10218885 Police officers runs as they try to stop soccer fans from entering the pitch during a clash between fans at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia 02 October 2022. At least 127 people including police officers were killed mostly in stampedes after a clash between fans of two Indonesian soccer teams, according to the police. EPA/H. PRABOWO
Police officers chase fans after they invade the pitch (Picture: EPA)

At least 125 people were trampled to death or suffocated after riots broke out on a football pitch in Indonesia.

Thousands of Arema FC supporters flooded the ground in East Java’s Malang city, throwing bottles and other objects at players and officials, after they lost to Persebaya Surabaya – their first home defeat in 23 years.

The rioting spread outside Kanjuruhan Stadium where at least five police vehicles were overturned and set on fire.

Police responded by firing tear gas – which is banned by Fifa – including towards the stadium’s stands, causing panic among the crowd.

Some people suffocated and others were trampled as hundreds of fans stampeded towards the exit to avoid the tear gas.

Dozens died at the stadium in the panic, including two officers. It appears children were also among the casualties. The death toll now stands at 125 after Indonesian police revised down a previous figure of 174.

It instantly becomes one of the deadliest sporting events the world has ever seen.

More than 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals but many died on the way and during treatment, East Java police chief Nico Afinta said.

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Fans invade the soccer field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Oct 2, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
Fans invaded the pitch after Arema FC lost against Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia (Picture: Reuters)
Arema FC supporters enter the field after the team they support lost to Persebaya after the league BRI Liga 1 football match at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, East Java province, Indonesia, October 2, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ari Bowo Sucipto/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Arema FC supporters threw missiles at players and officials (Picture: Reuters)
This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows a boy (C) being carried as members of the Indonesian army secure the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java. - At least 127 people died at a football stadium in Indonesia late on October 1 when fans invaded the pitch and police responded with tear gas, triggering a stampede, officials said. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
A boy is carried away by the Indonesian army after they secure the pitch (Picture: AFP)
In this picture taken on October 1, 2022, a group of people carry a man at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java. - At least 127 people died at a football stadium in Indonesia late on October 1 when fans invaded the pitch and police responded with tear gas, triggering a stampede, officials said. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Fans carry an injured man away from the pitch (Picture: Getty)
Security officers detain a fan during a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Panic following police actions left over 100 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Yudha Prabowo)
Soldiers detained a fan on the pitch with a riot shield (Picture: AP)
Members of the security force try to disperse the fans who invaded the soccer field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Oct 2, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
Tear gas is fired at the fans who stampede towards the exits (Picture: Reuters)
Members of the security force help a player make his way out of the field after fans invaded the soccer field following a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Oct 2, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
A player is ushered away after fans stormed the pitch (Picture: Reuters)

He said the death toll is likely to increase because many of the approximately 180 injured are deteriorating in intensive care.

Indonesia’s football association, known as PSSI, has suspended the premier league Liga 1 indefinitely and banned Arema from hosting matches for the remainder of the season.

Television reports showed police and rescuers evacuating the injured and carrying the dead to ambulances.

Grieving relatives waited for information about their loved ones at Malang’s Saiful Anwar General Hospital. Others tried to identify the bodies laid out at a morgue.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his deep condolences for the dead.

‘I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last soccer tragedy in this country. Don’t let another human tragedy like this happen in the future,’ he said.

An injured person is taken out of the stadium where a riot broke out following a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya, at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Oct 2, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
An injured fan is dragged out of the stadium (Picture: Reuters)
epa10218863 Damaged police vehicles lay on the pitch inside Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, 02 October 2022. At least 127 people including police officers were killed mostly in stampedes after a clash between fans of two Indonesian soccer teams, according to the police. EPA/SANDI SADEWA
Overturned police vehicles are left on the pitch inside the stadium (Picture: EPA)
This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows Indonesian army and police securing the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java. - At least 127 people died at a football stadium in Indonesia late on October 1 when fans invaded the pitch and police responded with tear gas, triggering a stampede, officials said. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Indonesian soldiers and police descended on the pitch (Picture: AFP)
This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows members of the Indonesian army securing the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java. - At least 127 people died at a football stadium in Indonesia late on October 1 when fans invaded the pitch and police responded with tear gas, triggering a stampede, officials said. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Indonesian army are sent in with riot shields (Picture: AFP)
Fans invade the soccer field after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Oct 2, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a REUTERS video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
Police fired tear gas at the fans (Picture: Reuters)
*** BESTPIX *** This picture shows torched vehicles outside Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java on October 2, 2022. - At least 127 people were killed when angry fans invaded a football pitch after a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya in Malang, East Java in Indonesia late on October 1, police said. (Photo by PUTRI / AFP) (Photo by PUTRI/AFP via Getty Images)
A car was torched outside the stadium in the riots (Picture: AFP)

‘We must continue to maintain sportsmanship, humanity and a sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation.’

He ordered the youth and sports minister, the national police chief and the chairman of the PSSI to carry out a thorough assessment of the match and its security procedures.

He also ordered the PSSI to temporarily suspend Liga 1 until it can be evaluated and security procedures improved.

Ferli Hidayat, local police chief of Malang, said there were some 42,000 spectators at Saturday’s game, all of whom were Aremanias because the organizer had banned Persebaya fans from entering the stadium in an effort to avoid brawls.

Despite Indonesia’s lack of international accolades in the sport, hooliganism is rife in the football-obsessed country where fanaticism often ends in violence, as in the 2018 death of a Persija Jakarta supporter who was killed by a mob of hardcore fans of rival club Persib Bandung in 2018.

Saturday’s game 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 died and some 100 others were injured.

In April 2001, more than 40 people were crushed to death during a football match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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