Indonesia soccer overwhelm: how the catastrophe unfolded

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Indonesia soccer overwhelm: how the catastrophe unfolded



saturday's healthy descended right into a "massacre" of enthusiasts, say distraught locals who have blamed the police use of tear gas

indonesians are demanding answers after a football suit among two rival golf equipment become one of the worst failures in the sport's history. On saturday night time, heaps of fanatics rushed onto the pitch after their home team lost a game at kanjuruhan stadium in malang, east java. Police spoke back by means of firing tear gasoline. In the panic to break out, humans had been trampled and crushed at the exits. As a minimum 125 - which includes dozens of kids, some believed to be as young as 3 - have been killed. A few enthusiasts died in the hands of the gamers they had come to cheer on just hours earlier, a team educate found out.

"i'm able to simplest point out a terrifying state of affairs," 

sergio silva, a portuguese superstar for the home crew, arema fc, stated. "police cars on hearth, the whole thing broken, corridors with blood, people's footwear.

"people had been determined, they had seen humans die and have been looking to escape," 

he informed portugese sports newspaper, a bola. Government on monday released an investigation - following allegations of heavy-surpassed policing. Public anger has escalated - with mourners chanting "murderers" at officials. At least 18 law enforcement officials are being investigated for his or her motion on subject. So how did this all unfold? Right here's what we understand to this point. A fraught history

there had been worries in the lead-up to the sport - a fit between home aspect arema fc and long-time opponents, persebaya surabaya, some other east java-primarily based team - as violence between enthusiasts turned into now not unheard of. So greater precautions have been installed area - including greater security "for preventive measures", maike ira puspita, deputy secretary-standard of the indonesian football affiliation, informed the bbc. They also banned touring persebaya fanatics from coming to the healthy, meaning it become just a domestic crowd - an over-ability attendance of 42,000 human beings - who roared on their team on saturday night. The fa additionally deployed greater police. And for the duration of the game's first half, all turned into "conceivable". "the security occurring like common," says ms puspita. "1/2-time become good enough."

but while the game ended, arema had misplaced three-2.

Two men - with one carrying a child - run down the field to get away from the tear gas


"And this is the point when some of the supporters ran onto the pitch. And it all just started to break out from there," 

Ms Puspita said.

It is unclear - and in fierce contention - what exactly happened next. Authorities are unwilling to even specify a chronology of what happened on the field.

"I think it's better for all of us to wait for the investigation team," 

Ms Puspita told the BBC.

But what is known is that after the final whistle blew, Arema fans moved onto the pitch, where the team's footballers were gathered in the middle.

Sergio Silva said many of those streaming onto the field had appeared to come to "show support, not attack". But recognising the situation was escalating, the team returned to the changing rooms.

At some point, police began to fire tear gas into the thousands-strong crowd, volleys aimed at dispersing them. One eyewitness told the BBC that police fired tear gas rounds 

"continuously and fast".

Witnesses say police were unnecessarily brutal - and that along with the clouds of stinging gas, officers were beating fans with batons.

Police officers in riot gear, with shields and batons, run down the fieldIMAGE SOURCE,EPA
Image caption,
Fans said police were disproportionately violent using batons and tear gas

The gas had an overwhelming effect - sparking a mass exodus. Fans fled down the field, heading towards the stadium's narrow exits. But with a crowd of thousands beating at each others' backs, and with many still suffering gas inhalation, it became a crush at the gates.

In the scrabble to get out, people punched and clawed holes in the wall to try and pull themselves free. The weight of people pushing against the iron gates left them bent outwards. In other places, the crush left some people dying by the changing rooms.

Huddled in the locker rooms, Silva said he and his teammates spent what felt like hours barricading themselves. They heard the roar of the crowd, the screams of distress in the corridors.

"People were desperate, they had seen people die and were trying to escape. We ended up letting in some of these people," 

he said.

It was, he said, a scenario more reminiscent "of destruction, of war... nothing to do with football".

A row of covered bodies in the nearby hospitalIMAGE SOURCE,EPA
Image caption,
At least 125 people died. Hundreds more were injured.

"Fans died in the arms of players," 

said Javier Roca, the Arema coach, to Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser.

 "I'm mentally shattered. I feel a heavy burden, even a heavy responsibility."

He added:

 "I think the police overstepped their mark."

The exact death toll is yet to be confirmed. Many fans are undergoing treatment, and some of those injured are reported have suffered brain injuries.

Police under scrutiny

Police have characterised what happened as a riot in which two officers also died. They've accused fans of attacking officers and damaging cars - the burned out wreckage of vehicles can be seen in photographs.

But anger against officials is rising: at vigils across the nation, protests have broken out calling for police to be held accountable. In the capital Jakarta, mourners chanted "Murderer! Murderer!" and taped signs reading 

"Kanjuruhan Massacre" to fences.

In Malang, anti-police messages have been graffitied on the Kanjuruhan stadium.

On Monday, Mohammad Mahfud Mahmodin, Indonesia's minister for political, legal and security affairs, said the government was asking police to 

"reveal the perpetrators involved in the crime".

He said a soldier had been seen in footage carrying out an unauthorised act, without specifying what it was.

Separately, the police have announced an investigation into 18 officers who were 

"holding the throwing weapons".

A damaged car is pictured on the field in the aftermath of the stampedeIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,
A burnt out car on the field

Indonesia's football scene is known for violent flare-ups between team supporters. Indonesia's police force also has a record of brutality - and has been criticised for frequently using tear gas, despite it being banned by Fifa as a crowd control measure.

"In many riots in football stadiums, police are accustomed to using tear gas - this is an abnormality that has been normalised," 

said Fajar Junaedi, a lecturer and Indonesian football fans researcher at the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.

He noted a case in 2012, where a supporter died from being tear-gassed by police and there was no follow-up investigation.

Ms Puspita had earlier declined to answer the BBC's question on whether the police use of tear gas was a standard accepted procedure in the Liga.

She stressed the actions organisers had taken earlier in the year to help teams manage crowds, including security workshops for first league clubs and coordination with police.

"At this point, it is unfair to point fingers. This is something that's a black day for all of us - a tragic and devastating incident," 

she said.

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