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Indonesian football fans’ passion can have devastating results, says ex-national team manager

Simon McMenemy felt a familiar feeling as he witnessed the police lose control of an Indonesian football match and his desperate attempt to escape.

The Scotsman has been involved in the dangerous and heated experience of coaching in Indonesia, including as manager of the National Team.

Sky News spoke with him from the country of southeast Asia. He said that the supporters are both the best and worst part about football in the country. When they’re great, they make stadiums electric. They’re incredible.

“But when they are bad, it triggers a reaction – it creates a ripple effect. As we saw last night, this can lead to devastating consequences.

Image: During a fight between supporters at Kanjuruhan Stadion, fans ran onto the pitch.

At most 125 people were killed during violence at Kanjuruhan Stadium on Saturday night after Arema FC lost against Persebaya Surabaya, for the first time in 23 years.

Many thousands of Arema supporters invaded this pitch, throwing bottles and other missiles at officials and players. Fans were trampled to death by police in Malang, East Java, as a result of the mayhem.

McMenemy is the technical director at Bhayangkara FC, West Java. He hopes that the tragedy will inspire action to prevent more tragedies.

More information about Indonesia

He said, “I don’t believe it can be ignored.” “It is possible that it was not looked at enough in the past. It is possible that more could have been done.

Joko Widodo, the Indonesian President, has ordered an investigation into security procedures at football.

The police response to McMenemy’s allegations “seemed very heavy-handed” will be the focus.

Image Officers of the police use tear gas to disperse crowd

He stated, “They’re going have to sit down, really have a look at what’s been here and why it happened, how it happened, and how they can prevent it from happening again.”

McMenemy cannot ignore the passion that drives Indonesian football fans, making it so attractive to foreign coaches.

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Over 100 die in stadium riot

Teams use armoured cars to travel to and from the stadiums

He said, “I have been in many situations where I felt – what is happening here, and why is it not being addressed?” I have been under armed guard at the centre circle, with these riots around me.

“I’ve been in a pitch invasion, where I went over to the opposite bench to shake hands. I was caught by all the fans who are hurling abuse at the manager of the team that we just beat.”

For teams to travel in and out stadiums, they often need armoured vehicles.

Image Football fans help an injured man after clashes

McMenemy does not plan to leave Indonesia, however.

It seems odd to say it, but I never feel in danger. He said that he was a man doing a job.

“I don’t ever feel worried. However, once you get out of the bubble, you realize that it could have been any other way.


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