FIFA, Indonesian govt to improve security measures following deadly stampede

Jakarta, Oct 18 (EFE).- FIFA pledged on Tuesday to work with the Indonesian government to improve security measures in soccer stadiums following a tragedy in a stadium on the island of Java, which left over 130 dead and hundreds injured.

“We owe it to them that when they go to see a match they are safe and secure,” FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino told reporters in Jakarta.

“We will do that because we agreed to work together as a team, as a winning team,” he added.

Infantino said FIFA and the Indonesian government would focus on improving the operations of the stadiums, fan behavior and engagement as well as the stadiums themselves.

“The infrastructure needs to be looked into as well because part of incidents that can happen is linked of course with the state of the infrastructure,” the football association’s president, who expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, said.

The National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia, responsible for investigating possible human rights violations by the state, said last week there are indications of abuses by security forces during the incident.

“The trigger for the fall of many victims was the tear gas, especially those launched against the stands,” one of the commissioners of the entity, Choirul Anam, told a press conference.

The stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in East Java on October 1 has caused the death of at least 132 people and left more than 460 wounded, after fans invaded the field and collided with security forces who launched tear gas to control the crowd.

The use of tear gas in soccer stadiums is prohibited by FIFA rules.

The initial conclusions of the commission also confirm the hypothesis of authorities that the stadium had exceeded its maximum capacity.

At the time of the tragedy, there were 42,516 spectators inside the stadium built for 38,054.

They also ruled out the suspicion that the exit doors were closed at the time of the tragedy, although findings indicate they were only “partially” open, which led to crowds and panic among the public.

After the incident, Indonesian president Joko Widodo opened an investigation to find those responsible for the tragedy and evaluate the controversial actions of the police.

So far, a dozen officers have been suspended, including the police chief of Malang, the scene of the events, while another 20 are under scrutiny. EFE


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