Indonesia to demolish football stadium where over 130 people died in stampede

‘We will demolish and rebuild it according to Fifa standards’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 18 October 2022 14:01 BST
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More than 100 football fans and two police officers killed in Indonesia stampede

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Indonesia will demolish and rebuild the football stadium where over 130 people, including at least 40 children, were killed in a stampede earlier this month, president Joko Widodo said on Tuesday.

“For Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, we will demolish and rebuild it according to Fifa standards,” said the president, popularly known as Jokowi.

Prior to the announcement, he met Gianni Infantino, the head of the football governing body. The meeting comes after Jakarta and Fifa agreed to form a joint task force as Indonesia readies to host the Under-20 World Cup next year.

Mr Widodo said he agreed with the Fifa chief on significant changes to how the sport was managed in Indonesia. “We agreed to thoroughly transform Indonesian soccer,” he said. “Every aspect of preparation... needs to be based on Fifa standards.”

In one of the deadliest sporting disasters, at least 130 people died and 580 spectators were injured at the Malang city stadium in a stampede after a league match on 1 October.

A fact-finding team formed by the government concluded that the “excessive” and “indiscriminate” use of teargas by the police was the leading cause of death. Firing teargas in the stadium as a crowd control measure has been banned by Fifa.

As fans at the overpacked stadium attempted to exit after the defeat of Arema FC, the home team, by Persebaya Surabaya, they were caught in a deadly crush, with many dying from asphyxiation.

The Fifa chief said the football governing body will bring experts and investments to improve the infrastructure of the south Asian country to ensure the safety of both fans and players.

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

He added that Fifa will work closely with the government, the Asian Football Confederation and Indonesia’s Football Association to ensure that the Under-20 Fifa World Cup to be hosted by Indonesia next year will run smoothly.

“What I can guarantee to all the people of Indonesia: Fifa is here with you, Fifa is here to stay...”

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