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Indonesia has set up a team after 125 people were reported dead after 32 children died in a football stampede in Indonesia.


Indonesia has set up an independent commission to investigate the stampede at a soccer stadium that killed 125 people, including 32 children, as Indonesia’s human rights commission questioned police use of tear gas.

Panicked spectators tried to escape a packed stadium in Malang, East Java, on Saturday as police fired tear gas to disperse fans from the losing home side who ran onto the pitch at the end of a BRI Liga 1 match. Domestic League.

At least 32 of the victims were children between the ages of 3 and 17, said Nahar, an official at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.

Most of the 125 dead were trampled or suffocated.

“My family and I never thought it would turn out like this,” said Enda Wahyuni, the older sister of two boys, Ahmed Kahyo, 15, and Muhammad Farel, 14, who died in the melee.

“They loved football but had never seen Arema live at the Kanjuruhan Stadium and this was their first time,” he said during his brothers’ funeral on Sunday, referring to the home side they supported.

Officials are investigating the alleged use of tear gas

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All Ligue 1 matches have been suspended pending an investigation.

FIFA, the governing body for world soccer, says its security regulations prohibit the use of firearms or “crowd control gas” at matches.

“If there hadn’t been any tear gas, there wouldn’t have been chaos,” Soirul Anam, known as Komnas Ham, a commissioner at Indonesia’s National Commission for Human Rights, told a briefing at the stadium.

Police and sports officials have been sent to Malang to investigate what could be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

Police said 18 officials and security managers responsible for throwing the tear gas were being questioned and mobile phones of the victims were being examined to identify suspected vandals inside and outside the stadium.

Police and soldiers stand with batons amidst the smoke of tear gas.
Indonesian football has long been known for violence and hooliganism.(AP: Yuta Prabowo)

President Joko Widodo ordered the Football Association to suspend all Ligue 1 matches pending an investigation.

Indonesia’s chief defense minister said the government would set up an independent fact-finding panel, including academics and soccer experts as well as government officials, to investigate what happened.

The committee will also decide what compensation should be paid to the victims and will complete the work in three weeks.

Violence and hooliganism have long been features of Indonesian football, particularly in places like the capital, Jakarta, but the scale of Saturday’s devastation in this city in Java has left the small community desensitised.

‘Life is more precious than football’

They are paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the stampede
Arema FC players and officials pray at a memorial.(Reuters: Willie Kurniawan)

Indonesian daily Koran Tempo published a black front page on Monday, with the words “our football tragedy” printed in red alongside a list of the dead.

Home side Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya, although officials said Persebaya fans were not issued tickets for security reasons.

Mahfut said the stadium was filled to capacity on Sunday.

Indonesia has set up a team after 125 people were reported dead after 32 children died in a football stampede in Indonesia.

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