Indonesia football match riot
This screengrab of fans invading the football pitch during an Indonesian Premier League game was tweeted by Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda.

Indonesia: 174 dead after violence, stampede at football match in Malang

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Panic at an Indonesian football match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 174 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday (October 2).

Several fights between supporters of the two rival football teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League game ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3-2.

The brawls that broke out just after the game ended late night Saturday prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among supporters, said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

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Hundreds of people ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled, killing 34 almost instantly.

More than 300 were rushed to nearby hospitals to treat injuries but many died on the way and during treatment, Afinta said.

He said the death toll is likely still increasing since many of about 180 injured victims’ conditions were deteriorating.

In a statement, Persebaya Surabaya football club said “no life is worth football” and expressed its deepest condolences.

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“Persebaya’s big family expresses their deepest condolences for the loss of life after the Arema FC vs. Persebaya match. No life is worth football.”

Indonesia’s Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali said he has asked for a full investigation into the tragedy to “determine the parties responsible”, according to a report on CNN.

“I am coordinating with the national police chief and PSSI chairman and we will go directly to the stadium pitch in Malang,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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