Monday, October 3, 2022

Indonesia Police Chief, Others Fired Over Deadly Soccer Stadium Crush CBC Sports

An Indonesian police chief and nine elite officers were removed from their posts on Monday and 18 others were being investigated for responsibility, including tear gas fired inside a football stadium, officials said. In which at least 125 people were killed.

Distraught family members struggled to understand the loss of their loved ones, including 17 children, at a match in East Java’s Malang city, which was attended only by hometown Arema FC fans. The organizers banned Persebaya Surabaya, the supporters of the visiting team, because of Indonesia’s history of violent football rivalry.

The disaster was one of the deadliest ever at a sporting event on Saturday night.

Arema players and officials laid wreaths in front of the stadium on Monday.

“We are here as a team to apologize to the families affected by this tragedy, who have lost loved ones or are still being treated in hospital,” head coach Javier Roca said.

On Monday night, nearly a thousand football fans dressed in black shirts lit candles at a football stadium in the satellite city of Bekasi, Jakarta, to pray for the victims of the disaster.

Witnesses said some of the 42,000 Arema fans ran angrily on the pitch on Saturday after the team lost 3-2, the first at home to Persebaya in 23 years. Some threw bottles and other items at players and soccer officials. At least five police vehicles were torched and set ablaze outside the stadium.

But most of the deaths occurred as riot police, trying to stop the violence, fired tear gas, including at the stands, causing a devastating stampede of fans, leading to a chaotic race to get out. Most of the 125 people who died were crushed or suffocated. Two police officers are also among the victims.

look | Police in Indonesia are facing questions after a stampede at a soccer stadium:

More than 120 killed in stampede at Indonesia’s football stadium

Police in Indonesia are facing questions about their strategy after tear gas shells were fired inside a football stadium in Indonesia, sparking a stampede that killed more than 120 people and injured hundreds of others.

The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection said at least 17 children were among the dead and seven were being treated in hospitals. Police said 323 people were injured in the crush, some of whom are still in critical condition.

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said Malang police chief Ferli Hidayat was fired along with nine members of an elite police mobile brigade and faced possible dismissal in a police ethics test.

He said that 18 officers ranging from medium to high rank to 18 officers who fired tear gas shells are being investigated.

Police are questioning witnesses and analyzing videos from 32 security cameras inside and outside the stadium and nine cellphones owned by the victims as part of an investigation that will identify suspected miscreants, he said. .

22-year-old Faikotul Hikmah’s parents and other relatives mourned on Monday when an ambulance arrived at their home wrapping her body in white cloth and a black blanket. He died while running for exit 12 at Kanjuruhan Stadium.

His friend Abdul Muqeed said on Monday that a dozen friends had accompanied him to watch the match, but Hikmah was one of four who were able to enter the stadium as tickets were sold out. He later bought a ticket from a pimp after hearing news of a scuffle inside the stadium looking for Hickman.

“I have to find him, save him,” recalled Mukid thinking.

Security personnel are shown on the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, on Saturday. Officials said more than 100 people were killed as fans entered the pitch and police fired tear gas shells, triggering a stampede. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mukeed found Hickmah’s body lying in a building in the stadium complex, with broken ribs and blue marks on her face. He learns that a second friend had also died from other friends who had called him while he was taking Hickmah’s body to the hospital.

Noor Laila, Hikmah’s elder brother, said, “I cannot express in words how sad it is to lose my sister.” “She was just a big Arema fan who wanted to see her favorite team play. She shouldn’t have to die just for him,” she said, wiping away tears.

President Joko Widodo ordered the suspension of the Premier Football League until security was reevaluated and security tightened. The Football Federation of Indonesia has also banned Arema from hosting football matches for the rest of the season.

‘Hopefully, this will be a very valuable lesson’

Arema FC president Gilang Vidya Praman apologized deeply to the victims and the Indonesian people, and said he was ready to take full responsibility for the tragedy at his team’s stadium.

He said that the management, coaches and players are in shock and speechless.

“I am ready to provide assistance even if it will not be able to return the lives of the victims,” ​​Pramana said at a press conference on Monday at Arema’s headquarters in Malang.

A pair of sneakers in the stands of Kanjuruhan Stadium on Sunday, a day after the stampede. (Hendra Parmana/Associated Press)

“This incident was beyond prediction, beyond logic… in a match only watched by our fans, not a single rival supporter,” he cried. “How could that match kill more than 100 people?”

He added that Arema FC is ready to accept any sanctions from the Soccer Association of Indonesia and the government, and “hopefully, it will be a very valuable lesson.”

Security Minister Mohamed Mahfoud said he would lead an investigation that would investigate violations of the law in the disaster and provide the president with recommendations to improve football safety. The investigation is to be completed in three weeks.

FIFA advises against the use of tear gas in football stadiums

Mahfood instructed the national police and military chiefs to punish those who committed crimes and acts that provoked the stampede.

“The government has urged the national police to evaluate their security procedures,” Mahfood told a news conference.

Rights group Amnesty International urged Indonesia to investigate the use of tear gas and ensure that those found responsible are prosecuted in open court. While FIFA has no control over home games, it has advised against the use of tear gas in football stadiums.

Despite Indonesia’s lack of international prominence in the sport, hooliganism remains rampant in the football-crazy country where bigotry often ends in violence. Data from Indonesia’s soccer watchdog, Save Our Soccer, shows that 78 people have been killed in sport-related incidents over the past 28 years.

Saturday’s game was one of the world’s worst crowd disasters in sport, including the 1996 World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Costa Rica in Guatemala City that killed more than 80 people and injured more than 100. . In April 2001, more than 40 people were crushed to death during a football match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. In February 2012, 74 people were killed and more than 500 were injured after a match between rivals Al-Masri and Al-Ahli, when thousands of Al-Masri fans stormed the ground and attacked supporters. As a result the Egyptian league was suspended for two years.

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