Over 150 people died in a stampede during a Liga 1 match between rivals Arema and Persebaya on Saturday.Fans entered the pitch breaching security at full time after Persebaya beat Arema 3-2. The police then tear-gassed the crowd which led to supporters rushing to the exits. The resulting stampede led to cases of suffocation.
President Joko Widodo has declared that this must be the country’s “last soccer tragedy”, and games have been suspended while the Indonesian football association carries out a full investigation. The current death toll stands at at least 174.
Local police chief Nico Afinta said: “It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars. We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch.” Two police officers also died in the disorder.
Reacting to the development, Manchester United in a tweet via its Twitter handle on Sunday morning, wrote: “Manchester United is deeply saddened by the tragedy in Malang, Indonesia. We send our sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and everyone affected.”
Similarly, Manchester City tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic events at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia. Our thoughts are with all those affected.”
Also, Persebaya’s official Twitter account posted on Saturday evening: “Persebaya’s extended family deeply mourns the loss of life after the Arema FC vs Persebaya match. No single life is worth football. We pray for the victims and may the families left behind be given strength.”