[IN VIDEO] A soccer match turns tragic: 127 dead after a riot

[EN VIDÉO] A soccer match turns tragic: 127 dead after a riot

DAY

At least 127 people died on Saturday night in Indonesia in a crowd commotion caused by supporters invading a soccer field after a match, authorities reported on Sunday, in a country where rivalries between fans have turned often lead to disaster. 

Fans of the Arema FC team entered the field at the Kanjuruhan stadium in the city of Malang (east) after the defeat of their team 3 to 2 against that of Persebaya Surabaya. It was the first time in more than twenty years that Arema FC had lost to their great rival.

Police, who called the incident a “riot”, tried to persuade fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas after two officers were killed. Many victims were trampled to death.

“In the incident, 127 people died, including two policemen. Thirty-four people died inside the stadium and the rest succumbed to hospital,” local police chief Nico Afinta said in a statement.

Several people were run over as they ran towards one of the stadium's exits, and died of asphyxiation, Mr Afinta detailed.

Images captured inside the stadium show a huge amount tear gas and people clinging to the barriers, trying to escape. Others carried injured spectators, pushing their way through the chaos. 

Desolation

A desolate sight outside the stadium witnessed Sunday morning from the unrest of the day before: charred vehicles, including a police truck, littered the streets.

The Indonesian government has apologized for this incident and promised to investigate the circumstances of this crowd movement.

“We are sorry for this incident (…) It is a regrettable incident which +hurts+ our football at a time when fans can watch a match in a stadium,” Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali told Kompas TV.

“We will thoroughly examine the organization of the match and the number of supporters (in the stadium). Will we ban the presence of supporters at matches again? We will discuss it,” he added.

Mea culpa also on the side of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), which suspended all matches scheduled for this week, banned Arema FC to hold home games for the rest of the season and said they would send a team of investigators to Malang to establish the cause of the crash.

“We are sorry and we apologize to the families of the victims and to all parties for this incident,” said PSSI President Mochamad Iriawan.

Fan violence is a problem in Indonesia, where rivalries have turned into deadly clashes. 

Some matches—the most important being the Old Indonesia Derby between Persija Jakarta and Persib Bandung—are so tense that players from top teams have to s go there under high protection.