129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match
The world’s largest football fan base is getting rowdy at a match in Indonesia.
The match was stopped due to a stampede into the crowd.
About 20,000 fans surrounded the field for the match between Kaya and Persipura Banda.
Witnesses claim many fans pushed and trampled others trying to escape the violence.
Another witness told Al Jazeera that fans “screamed ‘we want peace, we want peace'” as they entered the field.
Hundreds more fans are still trapped inside, but Al Jazeera has yet to receive details on their condition.
The fan base holds strong supporters of a club in the country’s top league, but others have accused them of being fanatical.
The Jakarta Globe reported the police chief of Banda who has attended previous Kaya matches in the area.
“All the police officers from the police unit in Banda know [Kaya] and they have been attending their matches. The fans are not just ordinary fans. The fans are fanatic fans. They won’t stop to let any police officer out of the stadium,” Banda police chief Purnomo Amandus told the Globe.
Amandus said officials have received reports that officers from his force are either injured or have been assaulted.
“We have sent them home,” a police officer from the Banda Police Station told the Globe. “But it is just to appease the fans that they don’t want to go and get involved.”
“We are trying to calm them down, but every time they get closer a fight will break out,” he said.
Police confirmed 15 officers had been injured since the match, seven of whom were hit by flying glass, and three people were arrested.
Banda Police Chief Purnomo Amandus told the Globe that the police have “responded well”.
Al Jazeera tried to reach a Kaya representative who wished to remain anonymous, but they did not respond to our requests.