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03rd Oct 2022

FIFA release statement after ‘tragedy beyond comprehension’ in Indonesian stadium

Simon Lloyd

‘This is a dark day for all involved in football’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said the football world is in a state of shock after a crush left at least 125 people dead at a stadium in Indonesia.

The incident, one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, took place at the Kanjurugan Stadium in Malang, East Java on Saturday after Arema FC lost at home to rivals Persebaya.

The stadium was reportedly overcrowded, with some supporters spilling onto the pitch at the end of the game. Police responded to the pitch-invasion by using tear gas, which caused thousands of supporters to surge towards the stadium’s exits in panic.

Many of those who died are reported to have suffocated close to the exits. Hundreds more were injured.

The initial death toll was put at 174, though this has since been revised. The Indonesian football association has announced that an investigation had been launched.

Flags were flown at half-mast at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich and Infantino released a short video message in which he offered his condolences.

“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,” he said.

“This is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following this tragic incident,” he added.

“Together with FIFA and the global football community, all our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those who have been injured, together with the people of the Republic of Indonesia, the Asian Football Confederation, the Indonesian Football Association, and the Indonesian Football League, at this difficult time.”

FIFA states that on no condition should tear gas be used by police or stewards at matches.