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Indonesia Stadium Tragedy: 129 people dead in stampede at football match, police say

InternationalIndonesia Stadium Tragedy: 129 people dead in stampede at football match, police say

Srinagar: In one of the darkest days in the history of the football, atleast 129 people are dead and 180 more injured after chaos and violence erupted late on Saturday following an Indonesian league football match between two of the nation’s biggest teams, Police said.

Supporters of Arema FC and rival Persebaya Surabaya clashed after home team Arema FC was defeated 3-2 at a match in the city of Malang in East Java.

Supporters from the losing team had “invaded” the pitch and police fired tear gas, triggering a stampede which led to cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta said during a press conference following the event.

“It had gotten anarchic. They (the fans) started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” Nico was quoted as saying.

Two police officers were among the dead and 180 people were also injured, the police chief said, adding that the crush occurred when fans fled for an exit gate.

According to Nico, when Arema FC lost 2-3 in the match against Persebaya Surabaya, their supporters stormed onto the field in anger.

Speaking to CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia, Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali said he has asked for a full investigation into the tragedy to “determine the parties responsible.”

“I am coordinating with the national police chief and PSSI chairman and we will go directly to the stadium pitch in Malang,” he said.

The Kanjuruhan Stadium is used mostly for football matches and is estimated to hold up to 42,500 people.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) has suspended matches next week as a result of the deadly tragedy, and banned Arema FC from hosting games for the rest of the season.

“PSSI regrets the actions of Aremania supporters at the Kanjuruhan Stadium,” the association’s chairman, Mochamad Iriawan, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

He added that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football” and they were supporting official investigations into the event.

“We are sorry and apologize to the families of the victims and all parties for the incident,” he said.

“For that PSSI immediately formed an investigation team and immediately left for Malang,” he added.

With inputs from CNN

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