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Police wrongly used tear gas at fatal Indonesian football match stampede, official says

An official revealed that tear gas was incorrectly used by police inside the soccer stadium, where at least 125 people were killed in a stampede in Indonesia this weekend.

Chaos broke out at Malang’s Kanjuruhan Stadium, East Java. After their defeat, Arema FC fans began to riot and invade the pitch.

After tear gas was sprayed into the stadium, hundreds of spectators were crushed trying to escape the stadium. This led to one of the most tragic stadium disasters in human history.

Indonesia’s Soccer Federation (PSSI), said that the club’s security guard and its head of organising committee would be expelled from the sport and fined them 250 million rupiah each (PS14.424).

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Erwin Tobing (head of the association’s discipline committee) stated that there were “many weaknesses” in the organisation committee.

The PSSI confirmed that officials from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation will be visiting the country. UEFA also announced that a moment silence would be observed at all European fixtures this week.

Albertus Wahyurudhanto from the National Police Commission said that there were no orders not to use tear gas against the crowd. This oversight body reports to the president.

Fifa: More

“Tear gas was supposed (to be) fired outside…there were suspicions of violation of instructions,” he said to reporters. He also stated that the Commission would share its findings with a government-appointed fact-finding team.

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Indonesia: At least 125 deaths

Fifa bans the use of weapons and “crowd control gases” at matches.

Persebaya Surabaya fans were banned from attending the match for fear of clashes. The victims included 33 children.

The death toll is not yet known. Police put it at 125 deaths, but Malang’s city health department said that 131 people died.

Continue reading:

The passion of Indonesian football fans can lead to ‘devastating’ results

As the death toll from the Indonesian football stampede rises, 32 children are among those who have been killed

Image: After the match at Malang’s Kanjuruhan stadium, football fans invaded the pitch. Pic:AP

Police have stated that the stadium in Malang can only hold two people at a given time. Some of the exit gates were also locked by spectators, which led to the fatal crush.

According to medics, victims died mostly from suffocation or head injuries.

Mr Wahyurudhanto stated that it was not clear why certain exits were locked.

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Indonesian mourners scream

Hooliganism is not uncommon at Indonesian football matches. This means that police often use heavy-handed tactics when dealing with supporters.

Choirul Anam, Indonesia’s human rights body Komnas HAM, stated that if no tear gas had been used, “maybe there wouldn’t have been chaos”.

A spokesperson for the police said Monday that at least nine police officers were suspended and that dozens of them have been under investigation.

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