Premier League clubs pay tribute after Indonesian football match disaster leaves 174 dead


Premier League clubs have paid tribute to the 174 people crushed to death during a  tragic incident at an Indonesian football match.

The devastating scenes broke out after hosts Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city losing to Persebaya Surabaya FC 3-2.

Fans flooded the Kanjuruhan Stadium pitch in protest and demanded that Arema management explain why, after 23 years of undefeated home games, this match ended in a loss, witnesses said. 

Harrowing footage shows fans scaling fences as they try to escape tear gas smoke, which did not dissipate, with some falling to the ground and losing consciousness and being trampled under a stampede. 

English clubs, as well as the Premier League themselves, have since offered their condolences following the tragic incident.

The official Premier League Twitter account wrote: ‘The thoughts of everyone at the Premier League are with those affected by the tragic events at Kanjuruhan Stadium last night’.

 At least 174 people have died following a riot that broke out at an Indonesian football game

Horrific footage shows Artema fans flooding the pitch following the BRI Liga 1 match

Horrific footage shows Artema fans flooding the pitch following the BRI Liga 1 match

Arema FC lost at home 3-2 to local rivals Persebaya Surabaya on the main island of Java

Arema FC lost at home 3-2 to local rivals Persebaya Surabaya on the main island of Java

Meanwhile, Man United posted: ‘Manchester United is deeply saddened by the tragedy in Malang, Indonesia. We send our sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and everyone affected’.

‘We are deeply saddened to hear of the events at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang, Indonesia. The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with all those affected at this time,’ wrote the Merseyside club’s account.

Arsenal’s official page said: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the events in Malang at the Kanjuruhan Stadium Indonesia today. Along with everyone who finds a connection through football, our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

‘We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic events at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia. Our thoughts are with all those affected,’ said Man City’s Twitter page.

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The Premier League, along with a number of clubs, offered their condolences on social media

The Premier League, along with a number of clubs, offered their condolences on social media

Football fans help a young girl escape from the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, after riots broke out following the match

Football fans help a young girl escape from the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, after riots broke out following the match

In a statement, FIFA President Gianni Infantino described the incident as a ‘tragedy beyond comprehension’.

He said: ‘The football world is in a state of shock following the tragic incidents that have taken place in Indonesia at the end of the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at the Kanjuruhan Stadium. 

‘This is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following this tragic incident,’ he added. 

‘Together with FIFA and the global football community, all our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those who have been injured, together with the people of the Republic of Indonesia, the Asian Football Confederation, the Indonesian Football Association, and the Indonesian Football League, at this difficult time.’ 

Meanwhile in Spain, LaLiga have announced they will hold a minute’s silence before upcoming matches ‘as a sign of respect for the tragedy which occurred yesterday in Indonesia.’ 

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The death toll has now increased from 127 to 174, with two police officers and children among the dead. It now means this has been one of the deadliest sporting events in the world. 

Most of those who died were trampled to death after police fired tear gas to dispel the riots or suffered from inhalation and shortage of oxygen. 

The rioting spread outside the stadium where at least five police vehicles were overturned and set on fire amid the chaos. 

More than 300 people were rushed to hospital with their injuries following the riot but many died on their way or during treatment, East Java police chief Nico Afinta has said.

Arema's stadium is located in the east if Java in the town of Kepanjen, 50 miles from rivals Persebaya Surabaya to the north

Arema’s stadium is located in the east if Java in the town of Kepanjen, 50 miles from rivals Persebaya Surabaya to the north

Security officers detain a fan during a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang

Security officers detain a fan during a clash between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang

Baton-wielding riot police officers run onto the pitch to disperse the crowds while spraying tear gas

Baton-wielding riot police officers run onto the pitch to disperse the crowds while spraying tear gas

He added: ‘We have already done a preventive action before finally firing the tear gas as (fans) began to attack the police, acting anarchically and burning vehicles.’

Mr Afinta said the death toll is likely to increase because many of the approximately 180 injured who are receiving intensive treatment at various hospitals are deteriorating.

Local reports says that hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of dead and injured being brought in. Further riots broke out outside the stadium as tensions boiled over among supporters, with cars set on fire and bricks hurled at passing vehicles. 

Television reports showed police and rescuers evacuating the injured and carrying the dead to ambulances.

The riots that flared up saw 180 people injured as well as the hundreds killed, and police vehicles were seen smashed up near the pitch

The riots that flared up saw 180 people injured as well as the hundreds killed, and police vehicles were seen smashed up near the pitch

Grieving relatives waited for information about their loved ones at Malang’s Saiful Anwar General Hospital. Others tried to identify the bodies laid out at a morgue.

Last night’s riot is already among the world’s worst crowd disasters, including the 1996 World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Costa Rica in Guatemala City where more than 80 died and some 100 others were injured.

In April 2001, more than 40 people were crushed to death during a football match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his deep condolences for the dead in televised comments on Sunday.

He said: ‘I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last soccer tragedy in this country. 

‘Don’t let another human tragedy like this happen in the future.

‘We must continue to maintain sportsmanship, humanity and a sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation.’

The President went on to order the youth and sport minister, the national police chief and the chairman of the PSSI to carry out a thorough assessment of the match and its security procedures.

Football association chief Mochamad Iriawan appeared to accept some responsibility for the chaotic and heartbreaking scenes at the end of the match when he apologised ‘to the families of the victims and all parties’.’ 

‘For that PSSI [Indonesian Football Association] immediately formed an investigation team and immediately left for Malang,’ he said.

The hotly contested Super East Java Derby had been a thrilling match, with Arema pegging Persebaya back after falling 2-0 behind on Saturday night. 

But the heroic comeback was not to be, as Arema conceded a late goal to lose the match, sending their fans into a rage.



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