Indonesia to Demolish Football Stadium Where Over 130 People Lost Their Lives

Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia (Photo: EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM)

Indonesia will demolish and rebuild a football stadium where more than 130 people including football fans and police died in a stampede earlier this month.

Reuters reports that Indonesia’s President Jokowi spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the state palace after he met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“We will demolish and rebuild the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang according to FIFA standards,” President Jokowi said.

The President stated that he had the same opinion as the FIFA President on implementing significant changes to tackle the way the sport is currently managed in Indonesia.

The meeting of the Indonesian President and FIFA President comes after Indonesia and FIFA agreed to form a joint task force in the wake of the stadium tragedy which claimed the life of over 130 people including 40 minors. The country is currently preparing to host the Under-20 World Cup next year.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that FIFA’s priority was to ensure the safety of both players and fans in the Southeast Asian nations.

“This is a football country, a country where football is a passion for over 100 million people,” he said. “We owe it to them that when they see a match they are safe and secure.”

He noted that the global soccer body would work together with the government to ensure all stadiums met safety requirements and that the Under-20 World Cup ran smoothly next year.

The stampede occurred when supporters of Arema FC stormed the pitch in East Java after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya. The firing of tear gas by the police, a control measure that is banned by FIFA, has been attributed as the main cause of the incident.