At least 127 people, including two policemen, have died and almost 200 were injured in an outbreak of violence after a soccer match, when fans jumped onto the field because their team had lost on the Indonesian island of Java, police sources reported on Sunday. .
The Police, who used tear gas, indicated that the disturbances occurred on Saturday night at the Kanjuruhan stadium, in the province of East Java, in a match in which the Arema team was defeated 2-3 by Persebaya Surabaya.
As East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta explained at a press conference, 24 people lost their lives inside the stadium, while the others died in hospital.
At least another 180 people were injured in the events and are under medical treatment in different hospitals in the region.
Afinta indicated that most of the deaths occurred as a result of the stampede of fans, who were trying to flee the general fight, when dozens of them suffocated.
“It was a space full of people, which caused difficulty in breathing, lack of oxygen, which the medical team and the joint team tried to facilitate in the stadium,” said the commissioner.
The spiral of violence began when nearly 3,000 fans of the losing team stormed the pitch and began attacking the players, sparking a fierce clash with security forces, who used tear gas in an attempt to stop the attacks.
In the images and videos spread on social networks, it is seen how a rabid crowd invades the field, while the teams and referees quickly try to flee the pitch to avoid the fury of the fans.
Following the “troubling” incident, the Indonesian Football League suspended all matches for a week, while the country’s Football Association (PSSI) announced the opening of an investigation to find out the facts.
“PSSI regrets the actions of Arema fans at Kanjuruhan Stadium. We are sorry and apologize to the families of the victims and everyone for the incident. PSSI immediately formed an investigation team,” the entity’s president, Mochamad Iriawan, said in a statement, adding that the event “is tarnishing the image of Indonesian football.”