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Developed News Story | Indonesia’s deadly football stampede unfolds

Chaos broke out after a local match in East Java province, triggering police to fire tear gas, resulting in the stampede

Violence, chaos and a deadly stampede that erupted following a domestic league football match on Saturday night marked one of the worst sporting disasters in history.

Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated rival Arema Malang in Saturday night’s match in East Java province’s Malang city.


  • According to police officials, some 42,000 spectators were present, making it a sold-out event.
  • All the fans were supporters of Arema Malang, as organizers had banned the Persebaya Surabaya fans to avoid chances of a brawl breaking out between fans.
  • The game begins at 8 pm (13:00 GMT).
  • The game begins at 8 pm (13:00 GMT).
Indonesia Soccer Deaths
Security officers detain a fan [Yudha Prabowo/AP Photo]

During the match

Persebaya defeats Arema 3-2 at the latter’s home ground.


  • The game ends at about 10:45 pm (15:45 GMT).
  • After the final whistle, spectators pour into the field.
  • Fans throw bottles and other objects at players and football officials, and rioting spreads outside the stadium.
  • At least five police cars are toppled and set ablaze and many more are damaged.
  • Riot police respond with tear gas, which is banned at stadiums by FIFA, world football’s governing body.
Indonesia Soccer Deaths
Officers examine a damaged police vehicle [Yudha Prabowo/AP Photo]
  • Hundreds of spectators rush to an exit gate to avoid the tear gas, resulting in a stampede that saw 34 people trampled or suffocated to death almost instantly, with many more deaths to follow due to injuries.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo expresses his deepest regret and orders a thorough investigation into the case.
  • He also orders the suspension of the premier football league until a re-evaluation on match safety measures is carried out and tighter security put in place. Widodo says he hopes “this tragedy will be the last tragedy of football in Indonesia”.
  • Indonesia’s football association also bans Arema from hosting matches for the remainder of the season.
  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino says the football world is “in a state of shock”.
  • Rights group Amnesty International urges Indonesia to investigate the use of tear gas at the stadium and ensure that those found in violation are tried in open court.

At least 125 people were reported killed in the incident and more than 100 were injured. The death toll has been revised down to 125 from 174.

Podcast | Developed News Story | Indonesia’s deadly football stampede unfolds | subtitles included

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