Indonesia: 174 dead in violence during a soccer match

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Indonesia: 174 dead in violence during a soccer match

The game between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya turned into a tragedy in Indonesia.

At least 174 people died on Saturday evening in Indonesia in a crowd movement caused by angry fans storming a soccer field after a game and the firing of tear gas by law enforcement, police said.

Fans of the Arema FC team invaded the pitch at Kanjuruhan Stadium in the eastern city of Malang after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya. It was the first time in over 20 years that Arema FC had lost to their great rivals.

Police, who called the event a riot, tried to persuade supporters to return to the stands and fired tear gas after two officers were killed. Many victims were trampled to death, local police chief Nico Afinta said.

At one point, they headed for the exit. But there was a build-up [of people] and in that process of build-up [people] got gasped, lack of oxygen, he explained.

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

“We are sorry for this incident […] This is a regrettable incident which 'hurts' our football at a time when fans can watch a match in a stadium. ”

— Zainudin Amali, Indonesian Minister of Sports and Youth

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

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