An Indonesian police chief and nine elite officers have been sacked after at least 125 people were killed in a riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.
Thousands of Arema fans flooded the pitch and threw bottles and other missiles at players and football officials after their team’s first home defeat to a rival club in 23 years, leading to clashes and the use of a crowd control chemical banned in stadiums by FIFA.
Tear gas is banned in football stadiums by international governing body FIFA.
18 other officers are also under investigation.
President Joko Widodo has ordered an investigation into security procedures, and the chairman of the world governing body FifaGianni Infantino called the death “a dark day for everyone involved in football and an incomprehensible tragedy”.
On Sunday, East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta told a press conference: “We have already taken preemptive action before finally firing tear gas as (fans) started attacking the police, acting in an anarchic manner and burning vehicles”.
Some local officials had put the death toll at 174, but East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak said the death toll was later lowered to 125.
“The previous figure may have included duplicate deaths,” he said.
More than 300 people were taken to nearby hospitals, but many died en route and during treatment, Afinta said.
Grieving relatives waited for information about loved ones in hospitals and others attempted to identify bodies deposited in a morgue.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “The world of football is in shock following the tragic incidents that took place in Indonesia at the end of the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan Stadium.
“It is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond belief. I send my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives as a result of this incident. tragic.
“Together with FIFA and the global football community, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, to those injured, as well as to the people of the Republic of Indonesia, the Asian Football Confederation, the Indonesian Football Federation and Indonesian Football Federation League, at this difficult time.”
The Indonesian football association, known as PSSI, suspended the Premier League indefinitely in light of the tragedy and banned Arema from hosting games for the rest of the season.
Malang police chief Ferli Hidayat said there were some 42,000 spectators at Saturday’s match, all of whom were Arema fans because the organizer had banned Persebaya fans from entering the stadium. stadium to avoid trouble.
Hooliganism is rampant in football-obsessed Indonesia, where bigotry often ends in violence, highlighted by the 2018 death of a Persija Jakarta fan who was killed by a mob of the rival club’s hardcore fans Persib Bandung.