Football news 2022: World in mourning after Indonesia stadium stampede, reaction

The football community is in mourning after one of the world’s worst stadium disasters claimed at least 174 lives in Malang, East Java in Indonesia over the weekend.

Persebaya Surabaya claimed a 3-2 victory over rivals Arema Malang in an Indonesian Liga 1 football contest at Kanjuruhan Stadium on Saturday evening, with spectators storming the field after the final whistle.

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According to East Java police chief Nico Afinta, police fired tear gas into the venue after brawls erupted among supporters in the stands, prompting hundreds of patrons to desperately scramble towards exit gates.

Several people suffocated and fainted in the chaos, while others were trampled.

In footage from the incident that circulated social media on Sunday, police were seen kicking and beating people with batons as they attempted to run from the field.

Arema footballers were attacked in the chaos, according to local reports, while at least 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Arema FC coach Javier Roca posted: “Fans died in the arms of players. I’m mentally shattered. I feel a heavy burden, even a heavy responsibility.”

Former England star Wayne Rooney tweeted: “Devastating to hear of the events at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia last night. Shocking news.”

Spanish defender Sergio Ramos wrote: “Heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

England women’s captain Leah Williamson tweeted: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy. Indonesia holds a special place in my heart.”

Former England striker Michael Owen posted: “Horrendous news coming out of Indonesia about the events at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang. My thoughts are with everyone affected.”

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola wrote: “Terrible, absolutely terrible. The world is crazy … Best thoughts to the families.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tweeted: “A dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension.”

Asian Football Confederation president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa wrote: “I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news coming out of football-loving Indonesia.”

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach tweeted: “My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims of the terrible stampede in a football stadium in Indonesia.”

Akhmad Hadian Lukita, president of the PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB), issued a statement after the incident.

“We are concerned and deeply regret this incident,” he said.

“We share our condolences and hopefully this will be a valuable lesson for all of us.”

Indonesia FA (PSSI) president Mochamad Iriawan also released a statement: “PSSI regrets the actions of Armenia supporters at the Kanjuruhan Stadium.

“We are sorry and apologise to the families of the victims and all parties for the incident. For that PSSI immediately formed an investigation team and immediately left for Malang.”

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has ordered a pause on all the country’s top league matches as authorities investigate Sunday’s tragedy.

— with AFP

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