October 8 – Indonesian police are bringing criminal charges against three police officers and three civilians for their roles in the fatal stadium disaster that killed 131 people.
The suspects include the head of PT Liga Indonesia Baru, which administers the country’s top professional division and is responsible for ensuring that stadiums have a proper operating certificates.
About 42,000 Arema FC fans attended last Saturday’s match, in which Arema was defeated 3-2 by Persebaya – its first home loss to its fierce rival in 23 years.
Angry fans rushed on to the field, prompting police to fire tear gas, causing widespread panic. Hundreds tried to flee through the exits, which caused a deadly stampede.
The charges include negligence leading to death or serious injury and violations of Indonesia’s sports law and ethical code for officials. Maximum penalties range up to five years in prison.
Police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo told a news conference that the club’s officials had not complied with safety requirements and had allowed a crowd larger than the stadium’s capacity, while stewards had abandoned exits.
He said the Malang police head of operations is believed to have known that FIFA recommendations prohibit the use of tear gas in stadiums as a crowd control measure and that exits at stadiums must be unlocked at all times during a game for safety purposes.
Those rules don’t necessarily apply to domestic or national leagues but nevertheless are a safety standard.
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