(CMR) At least 125 people have died, and over 300 were injured in a stampede at an Indonesian football match that has become one of the world's worst stadium disasters.
The stampede occurred in the aftermath of home team Arema FC's loss to bitter rivals at the overcrowded stadium late on Saturday in Malang, East Java.
Officers fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse agitated supporters of the losing home side who had invaded the pitch after the final whistle, police chief Nico Afinta said. Many suffocated as thousands surged towards Kanjuruhan stadium's exits in panic.
FIFA, the world's governing football body, specifies in its safety regulations that no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police. President Gianni Infantino said it was “a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension.”
On Sunday, mourners gathered outside the stadium's gates to lay flowers for the victims. Later, people burned candles in a vigil at a lion statue, the local club's symbol.
The country's chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said the stadium had been filled beyond its capacity after 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium designed to hold 38,000 people.
Indonesia is scheduled to host the FIFA under-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are also one of three countries bidding to stage next year's Asian Cup, the continent's equivalent of the Euros after China pulled out as hosts.