the football of Indonesia lived this Saturday the darkest chapter of its history after thousands of followers of the Arema FC jump onto the field of play at the Kanjuruhan Stadium after the 3-2 defeat in the classic East Jarva before him Persebaya Surabaya. After several unofficial versions, the Police confirmed that there are at least 129 dead, some of whom died on the field.
Chief Inspector General of the East Java Regional Police, Nico Afintawas the one who made the shocking figure public after several local portals had anticipated that it was a number of fatalities that could mark a turning point in the history of violence in soccer in that country.
“129 people have died in this incident, two of whom are members of the National Police”Nico Afinta lamented during a press conference in Malang at dawn in Indonesia, in statements published by the newspapers Compass y MediaIndonesia, among others. Furthermore, he explained that 34 of the fatal victims lost their lives in the stadium and there are 180 injured who are being treated in hospitals in the area, although he did not clarify how many are seriously injured.
The viralized images of what happened are dramatic. Several fans were able to film with their cell phones what the moment was like when a crowd jumped onto the field and started a confrontation cwith the police officers who responded by using tear gas on the green grass and in the stands. Meanwhile, soccer players, referees and coaching staff escaped to the changing rooms to avoid being attacked.
“We are concerned and deeply regret this incident. We share our condolences and hope that this will be a valuable lesson for all of us,” said Akhmad Hadian Lukita, president of Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB). Also, Arema FC has already been informed that it will not play again with the public or in its stadium for the remainder of the seasonwhile other measures are analyzed.
Among the injured are children and women who were taken to two hospitals in the area. In turn, the local news site Comas published that some of “the victims were the product of being trampled by other sympathizersas well as the difficulty in breathing due to the tear gas fired by the security forces”.
The level of violence was such that fights broke out in the stands, on the field of play and, when the stadium gates were opened, in the vicinity of the enclosure, where Police had to respond with greater force to the chaos. In addition, members of the Indonesian Armed Forces in order to restore peace, while the fire and gases became part of the violent landscape.
For its part, the club Persebaya posted on his Twitter account: “Persebaya’s extended family deeply regrets the loss of life after the Arema FC vs Persebaya match. No life alone is worth football. We pray for the victims and that the families left behind are given strength.”
With these terrifying figures, the tragedy is not only the largest in the history of Indonesia, but also the third in the world in number of fatalities linked to sporting events. The largest occurred in Peru in 1964 in a match against the Argentine national team who left more than 300 muertos. Then the duel between Napoli y Bologna tainted Italian football in 1944 causing the death of 152 personas for a battle between the local fans and the police. With the figures revealed so far, this unfortunate event in the Asian country ranks third.