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Indonesia suspends two officials for life

Stampede in a stadium: Indonesia bans two officials for life

The Indonesian Football Association has banned two Arema Football Club officials for life following a disaster at its stadium over the weekend that left at least 131 people dead.

Arema FC organizing committee chairman Abdul Haris and a security officer “must not engage in any activity in the football environment for life”, said Erwin Tobing, chairman of the disciplinary committee of the FCA. Indonesian FA, during a press conference on Tuesday, October 4.

He added that the association had fined the club 250 million rupees ($16,000) over the tragedy.

Despite the punishment imposed on club officials, the police were amazed for their response at the stadium when they tried to quell a pitch invasion.

The terraces of Kanjuruhan Stadium were packed with 42,000 fans of “Aremania”, or Arema FC, on Saturday night for a game against fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya. But after a 3-2 defeat, the first at home in more than two decades, fans rushed onto the pitch to take on the players and management.

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, enticing more fans onto the pitch.

After tear gas was fired by police, many died trampled or suffocated as panicked supporters rushed to small exit doors, some of which were closed.

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