At least 125 fans were killed after riots broke out following an Indonesian league football match on Saturday in Malang, East Java, according to the Associated press.
By The Guardian, Persebaya Surabaya picked up a 3-2 victory over Arema. Arema supporters then reportedly “stormed the pitch and authorities fired tear gas, causing crushing and cases of suffocation”.
The AP provided more information, noting that witnesses said “police beat them with sticks and shields before firing rounds directly into the crowd.” At the time, “hundreds of people ran for the exit to avoid tear gas. In the chaos, 34 people died at the stadium, including two officers, and some reports include children among the victims.”
More than 300 people were taken to local hospitals, but some died on the way and during treatment, East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta told a news conference on Sunday.
The Indonesian football federation has suspended play in the top division Liga 1 indefinitely and banned Arema “from holding football matches for the rest of the season”, according to the AP.
Saturday’s events, however, are part of what has been a larger issue. David Lipson of ABC in Australia wrote in February 2019 that at least 74 people had died in Indonesia in “soccer-related violence” since 1994.
Fajar Junaedi, an Indonesian professor who studies sports, said Vice in September 2018 that he believed disorganization within the necessary governing bodies was partly to blame.
“The main factor is that officials use poor procedures and management,” he said. “The organizing committee and the security guards are not respecting the regulations. This has been a major problem for years.”