By Sedara Oluwadara
At least 125 people have died in a crush at an Indonesian football match that has become one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
Hundreds were also hurt in aftermath of home team Arema FC’s loss to bitter rivals at the overcrowded stadium late on Saturday in Malang, East Java.
The crush took place after police tear-gassed fans who invaded the pitch.As panic spread, thousands surged towards Kanjuruhan stadium’s exits, where many suffocated.
Fifa, the world’s governing football body, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.One eyewitness told the BBC that police had fired numerous tear gas rounds “continuously and fast” after the situation with fans became “tense”.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino said it was “a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension”.’It had gotten anarchic’ – PoliceIndonesian officials at one stage put the death toll in the disaster as high at 174 people, but this was later revised downwards.
President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been carried out.
Police fired tear gas, leading to a crowd crush and cases of suffocationVideos from the stadium show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle marked the home team’s 2-3 defeat, and police firing tear gas in response.”It had gotten anarchic.
They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java, adding that two police officers were among the dead.
“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said