FIFA President: Indonesia Stadium Stampede a ‘Tragedy Beyond Comprehension’

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Petals are placed on Aremania monument outside the Kanjuruhan stadium to pay condolence to the victims of the stadium stampede.
Petals are placed on Aremania monument outside the Kanjuruhan stadium to pay condolence to the victims of the stadium stampede (Reuters).

The deaths of at least 174 people in a stadium stampede in Indonesia “is a tragic day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Sunday.

Saturday night’s events in Malang, Indonesia, which also left 180 people injured, was one of the world’s deadliest sporting stadium tragedies.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino
FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“The football world is in a state of shock following the tragic incidents that have taken place in Indonesia at the end of the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at the Kanjuruhan Stadium,” Infantino said, according to FIFA.

“All our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those who have been injured, together with the people of the Republic of Indonesia.”

Overturned police vehicles in the aftermath of a football riot in Indonesia.
Overturned police vehicles in the aftermath of the football riot in Indonesia that killed hundreds of people.

In Spain, La Liga and the Spanish football federation announced there would be a minute’s silence before the weekend’s remaining matches in the top two divisions.

The stampede occurred when supporters of Arema FC stormed the pitch in East Java after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

After two officers were killed, tear gas was fired into crowds to force spectators to return to their seats. Hundreds of onlookers subsequently fled to an exit gate to flee the gas, with some choking in the commotion and many trampled to death.

Indonesia’s President Widodo has called for the event to be the “last soccer tragedy in the nation,” according to reports, ordering all games suspended pending an investigation.