On Monday, a high-ranking Indonesian official said that he would launch an impartial investigation into the fatalities of at least 125 soccer fans that occurred as a result of tear gas being used by the police during a game.
According to the chief security minister of Indonesia, Mahfud MD, the investigation is expected to take about two weeks. The investigation will look into whether or not any laws were broken, what kind of compensation should be provided to victims, and how Indonesian soccer can prevent future stadium disasters.
Just a few days after the tragic event that occurred on Saturday, an independent body was declared. On that day, tens of thousands of young supporters of Arema F.C. congregated in an overcrowded stadium in Malang in the hopes of seeing the local club defeat their rivals from Persebaya Surabaya.
The events that followed were one of the most catastrophic catastrophes to ever occur in a sports venue. According to witnesses, law enforcement authorities started firing tear gas canisters into the throng and hitting supporters with batons. In their haste to depart the stadium, fans stacked up against tight entrances, crushing one other as they tried to escape. As of the evening of Sunday, at least 125 individuals were believed to have died.
The catastrophe has drawn attention to the deployment of tear gas by the local police in such a densely populated stadium, which was filled to capacity. One of the top trending topics in Indonesia on Twitter was “National Police Chief,” with many Indonesians expressing their desire to have him removed from his position. In addition to the significant number of persons who have lost their lives, a spokeswoman for the national police said that there were reports that at least 300 people had been hurt. According to a report by Kompas TV, which cited a police spokesperson, an internal inquiry has been launched by the national police, and 18 officers who used tear gas weapons have been questioned as part of the probe.
In Indonesia, it is typical for prominent teams to engage in rivalries that may become violent and even fatal. Some sports teams even have fan organisations that are directed by “commanders” who are responsible for organising significant numbers of followers. During numerous matches, flares are often thrown into the field, and riot police are present at the majority of the games. Since the 1990s, the sport of soccer has been associated with the deaths of scores of spectators.
However, Indonesia has never previously seen a calamity of this magnitude in a sports venue. The catastrophe that occurred on Saturday looked to be the culmination of everything that might have gone wrong during a soccer match.