VIDEO: Indonesian president orders stadium audit after deadly stampede - GulfToday

VIDEO: Indonesian president orders stadium audit after deadly stampede


Indonesian President Joko Widodo attends a meeting. File photo

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday ordered an audit of all football stadiums in the country, vowing to find the "root" cause of one of the deadliest disasters in the sport's history.

He was in the city of Malang to visit relatives of the victims and those injured in a stampede that killed at least 131 people on Saturday, and to see the stadium where the tragedy took place.

The Indonesian leader's trip came as anger grew over the police response to a pitch invasion during which officers fired tear gas into packed stands as fans of Arema FC tried to approach players following their defeat to fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.


Riot stampede at Indonesia soccer match kill 129

Trial begins in Spain over 2013 train crash that killed 80

"I want to know the root of the problem that caused this tragedy so that we can get the best solution," he told reporters outside Saiful Anwar Hospital in Malang.

"I will order the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry to audit all stadiums used for the (football) league," he said.

Soccer fans enter the pitch during a clash between supporters at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang. AP

Hundreds of people fled for small exits, resulting in a crush that left many trampled or suffocating to death.

He said "the problem was in the locked doors and the stairs being too steep, plus the panic" but would wait for the conclusions of an investigation task force.

Widodo added that he had spoken with FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Monday about improving Indonesia's "football management" and possible assistance from the world football governing body.

He had earlier entered the hospital to speak with several injured patients, saying he told them to "keep up their spirits", and asked them about what happened on the night of the match.

He then travelled to the Kanjuruhan stadium, scene of the disaster.

Police officers and soldiers stand amid tear gas smoke during a soccer match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang. AP

"We need... improvements in the whole management, management of stadium spectators, time, security. It must all be fully audited so that this tragedy won't happen again," the president said.

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

Officers responded with force, kicking and hitting fans with batons, according to witnesses and footage, pushing the spectators back into the stands where many would die after tear gas was fired.

Agence France-Presse



Related articles