Monday, September 26, 2005

Riot disrupts conclusion to Indonesian final

Papua province-based Persipura Jayapura clinched the Indonesian national league 'Djarum 2005' title after defeating Persija Jakarta 3-2 in the final at the Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Sunday evening before about 60,000 spectators. The match had to be decided in extra time after the two teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after injury time. The teams had advanced to the final after topping the four-team East and West conferences.

"The win gave Persipura Rp 1 billion in prize money, while second place-getters Persija got half that amount. Earlier in the day, PSIS Semarang defeated PSMS Medan 2-1 to take third place and a check of Rp 250 million," the Jakarta Post reported.

Unfortunately the defeat of the home side saw thousands of Persija's 'Jak Mania' supporters rioting, setting part of the stand on fire and swarming on to the ground to disrupt the award ceremony. A contingent of 3,000 police and soldiers deployed at the ground responded quickly and restrained the crowd for more than one hour. About 22 private and police vehicles were vadalized outside the stadium and the total damage within the Senayan sports complex is estimated at almost Rp 164 million.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) disavowed responsibility for the vandalism. "PSSI had the task of assuring safety and comfort during the match inside the stadium. But, in order to guarantee security, we have to enlist security officials," said secretary-general Nugraha Besoes, adding that such acts as the throwing of firecrackers was for the security apparatus to deal with.

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