Indonesia venue to be rebuilt per FIFA norms



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Indonesian stadium to be demolished after 130 died Image: Rizky Wahyu Permana (merdeka.com)

The Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia where more than 130 people were killed in a crowd crush on October 1st will be torn down and rebuilt, the country’s President Joko Widodo has said.

‘The Guardian’ quoted Widodo as telling newsmen after meeting the FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently, “For Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, we will demolish and rebuild it according to FIFA standards.”

More than 40 children were among those who died after the disaster in the City of Malang, East Java (Indonesia) in what Infantino described as “one of the darkest days for football”.

It may be recalled that a stampede at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia killed more than 130 people and injured more than 320 after police used tear gas to quell a pitch invasion in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

Violence broke out after the game ended on the evening of October 1st with host Arema F.C. of East Java’s Malang City losing to Persebaya of Surabaya 3-2.

The Kanjuruhan Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Malang Regency, East Java, Indonesia. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 42,449. It is the home ground of Arema, a football team in Liga 1. It is named after the Kingdom of Kanjuruhan, an 8th century Hindu kingdom in the present-day Malang area.

The Arema Football Club is an Indonesian professional football club based in Malang, East Java. The club competes in Liga 1, the top flight of Indonesian football. They are considered one of the best and most successful football clubs in the country, and don the nickname ‘Singo Edan’. The Kanjuruhan Stadium serves as their home facility.

Persebaya Surabaya or simply Persebaya is an Indonesian professional football club based in Surabaya, East Java. It currently plays in Liga 1, the top flight of Indonesian football. It is regarded as one of the most iconic and successful teams in the country, winning numerous Indonesian League titles and tournaments. The 45,000-capacity Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium in East Java, Indonesia, serves as their residence.

‘The Guardian’ stated that after supporters invaded the pitch at the end of a league match between Arema F.C. and rivals Persebaya Surabaya, police fired teargas into packed stands, sparking a crowd crush.

Widodo said the stadium would be replaced with a new one “with proper facilities that can ensure the safety of both players and supporters”.

Infantino said FIFA would help “reform and transform” Indonesian football – “What I can guarantee to all the people of Indonesia: FIFA is here with you, FIFA is here to stay, FIFA is here to work in a very close partnership with the Government, with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and with the Football Association of Indonesia.”

The gates at the 42,000-capacity Kanjuruhan stadium, which was opened in 2004, were big enough to fit only two people at a time and some were not opened on time when disaster struck, officials have said.

According to experts on Indonesian football, shaky infrastructure, mismanagement, hours-long waits to leave outdated stadiums, and the potential for heated passions have contributed to the violence that has killed scores since the 1990s.

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)-based the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is a governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal in some countries/territories in Asia and Oceania. It has 47 member countries most of which are located in Asia. Australia, formerly in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), joined the AFC in 2006.

South Jakarta (Indonesia)-based the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) is the governing body of football in Indonesia. It was founded on April 19th, 1930, 15 years before the Indonesian independence. The PSSI joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954 and FIFA in 1952.

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