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  Home > Indonesia

Soccer League Resumed After Stadium Disaster

Soccer fans attend a rally in front of the city hall in Malang on November 10, 2022, demanding Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) to be responsible, fair, transparent, and indiscriminate following the deadly stampede at Kanjuruhan Stadium on October 1 which took 135 lives. (AFP/Juni Kriswanto)


 December 6th, 2022  |  11:14 AM  |   539 views



Soccer league matches were resumed behind closed doors on Monday, two months after the country was rocked by one of the world's worst stadium disasters.


The government suspended competitive football matches following a deadly stampede in the city of Malang that killed 135 people, including more than 40 children.


"The soccer league (season) will be finished. The scheduled (matches) that were determined previously will be completed," Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD told reporters before the games began.


He added that matches would be held without fans in the stands.


The government's decision was made "to support the future of the national soccer," Mahfud said.


In a statement on Monday, Soccer Association of Indonesia's (PSSI) Mochammad Iriawan thanked the government for allowing the resumption of the football league, adding that authorities had worked to ensure it was "safe" to stage matches.


Four matches of Indonesia's top flight Liga 1 were completed on Monday after the government's announcement.


After supporters invaded the pitch at the end of a league match between local team Arema FC and rivals Persebaya Surabaya on October 1st, police fired tear gas into packed stands, sparking a stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java.


In the wake of the tragedy, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo suspended the league, ordered an investigation into what happened and pledged to demolish and rebuild the stadium according to FIFA standards.


Three police officers are among six people who have been charged over the tragedy.


Meanwhile, an investigating task force has called on Iriawan and all of the association's executive committee members to resign.


Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali said the matches will be held "with strict guidance" from the police and the country's football association.


He emphasized that Indonesia's national team "needed" the competition to prepare for the AFF Championship, while the country is also set to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup next year.


The youth tournament is scheduled to take place in May-June 2023, in multiple cities across the archipelago.


Amali said the government will evaluate the organization of the matches.


"The most important thing is to move forward, and then we will evaluate as there may be things that needed to be improved."



courtesy of THE JAKARTA POST

by AFP


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