BARCELONA – Spanish football clubs will observe a minute’s silence before matches on Sunday as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in a stampede at an Indonesian game.
At least 174 people died and 180 injured on Saturday in Malang, East Java, as fans were crushed trying to escape tear gas released by police after a pitch invasion following Arema FC’s 3-2 defeat by Persebaya Surabaya.
La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation agreed to pay respects before the remaining matches this weekend in the top-two Spanish divisions.
“La Liga and the RFEF have agreed a minute’s silence to offer their condolences to the Indonesian people, especially the families of the deceased in the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium on the island of Java, as well as wishing a quick recovery to those injured,” said La Liga in a statement on Sunday.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday ordered a safety review of the country’s football matches after one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
Following the defeat, supporters from Arema invaded the pitch to express their frustration, police said.
Officers fired tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering a stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.
Mr Joko ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 until an investigation had been completed.
“I regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last tragedy of football in the country,” said Mr Jokowi, as the President is known.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino added that the stampede “is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension”.
“The football world is in a state of shock following the tragic incidents that have taken place in Indonesia at the end of the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at the Kanjuruhan Stadium,” said Infantino on Sunday.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those who have been injured, together with the people of the Republic of Indonesia.” AFP, REUTERS