A sad scene took over Indonesian football this Saturday, October 1st. At the end of the match between FC Arema and Persebaya Surabaya, valid for the national championship, fans clashed with security forces at Kanjuhuran Stadium, in Malang, after a field invasion. At least 127 people diedaccording to information collected by the British vehicle The mirror.
The incident resulted in the suspension of all league games for the week, and the home club was banned from hosting matches for the rest of the season.
The field invasion began shortly after the final whistle. Arema, the home team, lost to Persebaya by 3-2 and, with that, many fans jumped from the stands to win the lawn and protest.
Security was triggered, with local police and members of the Indonesian Armed Forces escorting the visiting club’s players to the changing room. According to local media reports, the main confrontation took place between supporters and containment forces, with objects thrown and tear gas used – on the field and off. Trying to get away from the confusion, some fans fell to the ground and were trampled. In addition, many lost their breath inhaling the gas and others even passed out in the middle of the field.
Persebaya officially took to Twitter to condemn the tragedy and mourn the deaths. “Persebaya’s family deeply regrets the loss of life following the match between Arema and Persebaya. Football is not bigger than any single life. We pray for the victims and that the families left behind receive strength,” the manifesto said.
Akhmad Hadian Lukita, manager of the Indonesian league, said he hopes national football will learn from the sad episode. “We are concerned and deeply regret this incident. We share our condolences and hope this is a valuable lesson for all of us,” he commented.
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The country’s president, Mochamad Iriawan, also spoke out and confirmed that the government will investigate the events. “We regret and apologize to the families of the victims and all parties for the incident. We immediately formed an investigation to Malang.”