Indonesian Soccer League Suspended One Week After Rivalry Match Ends In Tragedy As Fan Stampede Leaves 129 Dead

Saturday’s soccer match in Indonesia between Persebaya Surabaya and Arema Malang ended in tragedy. The Liga 1 rivalry quickly devolved into mayhem after the final whistle and at least 129 fans were left dead.

Not long after Persebaya Surabaya beat Arema Malang 3-2, supporters of the losing side began to riot on the pitch inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city. As fans stormed the field and charged toward the center, uniformed officers stepped in to try and deescalate the situation.

UPDATE: New video from Fox News of the incident show fans being pushed back by officers carrying batons and riot shields. Loud bangs then rang out in the stadium as tear gas was reportedly deployed and clouds of smoke caused a deadly, hazy scene on the field.

Fans involved in the riot and many who tried to exit the stadium suffered breathing problems and suffocated, according to East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta. At least 129 people were killed and upwards of 200 were injured in the stampede.

Afinta said that 34 people were pronounced dead on the scene. The rest died at hospitals. At least two police officers were among those who died.

This is not the first incident of its kind in Indonesia.

Saturday’s stampede was one of the largest mass-casualty events at a soccer match in Indonesian history. However, violence at matches is not uncommon within the country.

Many stadiums, like Kanjuruhan, do not allow away supporters to attend matches. In addition, teams often travel to away games in armored vehicles to avoid potential violence.

“Sampai mati” is a common mantra amongst many Indonesian soccer fans. It means “until death.”

On Saturday, unfortunately, that became all too real for many Arema Malang supporters and Zainudin Amali, Indonesia’s sports minister, is calling for a full investigation into the incident. He is heading to Malang and hopes that this “disaster” will be the last of its kind.

Following the tragic event, the Indonesian football league system has suspended all matches for a week. “Hopefully this will be a valuable lesson for all of us,” said Liga 1 head, Akhmad Hadian Lukita.

This remains a developing story.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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