Thursday, July 14, 2005

AFC expresses concern of fan death in Indonesia

The Asian Football Confederation has expressed its deep shock and concern after the death of a fan due to overcrowding during an Indonesia League match between the Arema and Persija Jakarta clubs on Wednesday in Malang, East Java, Indonesia.

"It is a matter of serious concern that safety and security were totally sacrificed in favour of greed for more income," said AFC General Secretary Dato Peter Velappan in a letter to the Football Association of Indonesia.

More than 80,000 fans tried to enter the 60,000-seater stadium leading to the death. “A spectator was trampled to death when the crowd tried to force its way into the stadium,” Nugraha Besoes, General Secretary of the Indonesia FA, told AFC Media. “None else was injured.”

The unidentified victim was 17 years old and a supporter of the Arema club which went on to win the match 1-0.

Mr Velappan urged the Indonesia FA (PSSI) to launch an investigation into the tragic incident and submit a report within two weeks. Earlier, a weekend game between Persik Kediri and PSM Makassar was also marred by crowd trouble.


According to Football Asia, Arema received support from the Malang municipal government last year to build a new 40,000-capacity stadium in Kanjuruhan, as their old 20,000 seat stadium Gajayana, which is now being used by crosstown rivals Persema Malang, was unable to accommodate the club’s fanatical Aremania supporters.

However, a crowd of 60,000 was allowed into the stadium for the Arema-Persija match which led to the death of one fan "with a dozen more suffering seriously injuries".