5 hours ago
Valdya Balaptri、Raja Lumbanrau (Indonesia·Maran), Matt Murphy (London), BBC News
The riots came shortly after Arema FC lost 3-2 to arch-rivals Persebaya Surabaya. 125 people died. Roca said he was “mentally damaged.”
The youngest person to die was just three years old, officials said.
In the event, the fans turned into a mob after the game and rushed the field. Panic erupted in the stadium as police fired tear gas. Thousands rushed to the exit, many choking. More than 320 people were injured.
So far around 18 police officers have been questioned about the firing of tear gas. At least nine police officers have also been suspended, with the police chief in the city of Malang, where the stadium is located, sacked.
Eyewitnesses interviewed by the BBC said that the police fired a number of gas canisters “continuously and quickly” after the situation became “tense” with supporters.
Videos posted on social media showed fans climbing the fence as they tried to leave the stadium. Some photos appear to show a dead body lying on the stadium floor.
Chandra, who was at the spot, said that the smoke that enveloped the stands caused immediate panic among the crowd.
“Little children were crying, women were fainting, screams could be heard here and there, and everyone ran out.”
One of the spectators, Eko, said he was stuck at the exit of the stand because so many people were trying to escape. “My friend and I went back to the top of the stands and covered ourselves with scarves to avoid the smoke,” said Eko.
Esther Andayanengchas told the BBC that her 17-year-old daughter Deborah was caught in the panic and suffered serious injuries, including a broken neck and a swollen brain.
“I asked my daughter not to go to the game that day. In the morning she didn’t come home and her friends were looking for her.
“I looked for her in the emergency ward of the hospital, but she wasn’t there. The hospital told me to look at the mortuary. Deborah didn’t have an ID, so there was confusion.”
Other eyewitnesses heard a parent shouting, “Where is my child?” in the chaos. One man said he saw a parent fall while protecting a child.
“A mother died with her child in her arms and a boy died next to her,” the eyewitness told the BBC.
“Some fans picked up the mother and the boy and walked out of the stadium. They were carried away unconscious, probably because of the tear gas.”
Muhammad Dipo Maulana, 21, who was watching the match, told BBC Indonesia that several Arema fans entered the pitch after the match to protest against the home team’s players, but were quickly caught by the police, he said, that he was beaten.
A large number of spectators entered the field to protest.
“Police and soldiers with police dogs and shields came forward,” he told the BBC. He also said he heard tear gas being fired at the crowd more than 20 times.
Police spokesman Dedi Placecho said the officers being investigated were “responsible for carrying weapons” and were being investigated by an internal affairs investigation team.
He added that security teams at the site and officials from the Indonesian Football League were also being investigated.
Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission said it would conduct its own investigation into the incident. President Joko Widodo has ordered the suspension of all top league matches pending an official investigation.
Human rights group Amnesty International said the police response amounted to “excessive use of force by the state” to control unarmed crowds. Protesters held protests in the capital Jakarta the night after the incident, holding placards urging them to stop police brutality.
The country’s police have long been criticized for often using tear gas in crowded stadiums.
Arema FC coach Roca told Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser that he believed the police had “crossed the line” in an attempt to control the crowd.
The investigations were released after FIFA called the incident “a black day for everyone involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension”.
FIFA has ruled that police and other personnel are not allowed to carry or use “crowd control gas” during matches and has asked the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) to report on the matter.
Chief Security Officer Mahhud MD posted on Instagram that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the night’s match at the 38,000-capacity Khanjurhan Stadium.
“There was chaos. People attacked police officers and damaged vehicles,” East Java police chief Niko Afinta said. Two policemen were also among the dead.
“Everyone was not in chaos. Only about 3,000 people entered the field,” he said.
He added that the fleeing fans “were going towards one exit point. After that, as more people piled up, they couldn’t breathe and they didn’t have oxygen.”