Indonesia football stampede: Minute's silence to be observed at Champions League and other UEFA events

Indonesia witnessed its worst stadium disaster earlier this week as clashes broke out between fans and security officials at the Kanjuruhan Stadium following a match between fierce rivals Arema FC and rival Persebaya Surabaya, leaving at least 174 dead.

Agence France-Presse October 04, 2022 19:43:09 IST
Indonesia football stampede: Minute's silence to be observed at Champions League and other UEFA events

Fans gather during a candle light vigil for Arema FC Supporters who died following Saturday's football match stampede at Patriot Stadium in Bekasi, Indonesia, Monday, 3 October. AP

Lausanne: A minute’s silence will be held at this week’s Champions League, Europa League and Conference League matches in tribute to the 131 victims of the Indonesia stadium tragedy, UEFA said Tuesday.

“UEFA has today announced that a moment of silence will be held prior to kick-off in memory of the victims of the tragic events at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia,” read its statement.

“This moment of silence will take place at all UEFA matches this week (Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s World Cup play-offs).”

The terraces of the Kanjuruhan stadium were packed Saturday evening with 42,000 “Aremania”, or Arema FC fans, for a match against fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.

But after a 3-2 defeat, the first home loss for more than two decades to their adversaries, fans streamed down to the pitch to confront players and management.

Read: Indonesia stampede joins list of worst stadium disasters in the world

Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting.

Officers responded to the pitch invasion with force, kicking and hitting fans with batons, according to witnesses and video footage, prompting more fans to enter the pitch.

The death toll jumped again on Tuesday with local health official Wiyanto Wijoyo telling AFP six more victims had succumbed to their injuries.

Indonesian officials said 4,000 more tickets had been allocated for the match than should have been, while some of the stadium’s doors appeared to have been shut, according to witnesses.

Read: United, Barcelona and other clubs offer condolences to families affected

That left physically stronger supporters to scale large fences to escape the mayhem, while the most vulnerable were at the mercy of the crush as tear gas rained down.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino had termed it on Sunday “a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension”.

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