At least 129 people were killed and nearly 180 injured after a stampede broke out during riots at a football match in Indonesia, police said on Sunday, in what appears to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
After the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya in East Java province ended on Saturday night, supporters of the losing team attacked the pitch and police fired tear gas, a stampede broke out and in case of suffocation, East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta told reporters.
Video footage from local news channels showed images of people running on the pitch at Malang’s stadium and carrying body bags.
Matches in Indonesia have had prior outbreaks of trouble, with a strong rivalry between clubs sometimes leading to violence between supporters.
Indonesia’s Sports Minister Zainuddin Amli told Kompas TV that the ministry would re-evaluate security at football matches, including considering not allowing spectators in stadiums.
Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 has suspended games for a week after the match that Persebaya won 3-2 and an investigation was launched, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) said.
In global stadium disasters, 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in Britain in April 1989, when an overcrowded and fenced-off fence at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield collapsed.
Indonesia is to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are one of three countries bidding for next year’s Asian Cup, the continent’s euro equivalent, after China pulled out as hosts.