What’s behind Indonesia’s deadly soccer match, where at least 125 people died?
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Violence, tear gas and a deadly crush that erupted following a domestic league soccer match Saturday night marked another tragedy in Indonesian football. Here’s a look at how the chaos occurred and what is being done to prevent future incidents:
How did the chaos occur?
Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated Arema Malang 3-2 in Saturday night’s match in East Java’s province Malang city. Police said there were some 42,000 spectators in the stadium, all of whom were Arema’s supporters because the organizer had banned Persebaya fans in an effort to avoid brawls.
But a disappointing loss by Arema — the first match lost to Persebaya at its home stadium — prompted angry spectators to pour into the field after the match to demand answers. Fans threw bottles and other objects at players and soccer officials and violence spread outside the stadium, where at least five police cars were toppled and set ablaze and others damaged. Riot police responded with tear gas, which is banned at soccer stadiums by FIFA. But it sparked panic.
Hundreds of spectators rushed to an exit gate to avoid the tear gas, resulting in a crush that trampled or suffocated 34 to death almost instantly, with many more deaths to follow due to injuries.
Find out more, including what the government is doing about it, here: