Indonesia jails two football match officials over stadium crush | Football News

SURABAYA: An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed two soccer match officials for negligence in one of the worst stadium disasters in sports history.
October’s crush in a hall of the East Java The city of Malang killed 135 people after police fired tear gas into crowded stands when supporters stormed the pitch.
Hundreds of people fled through narrow exits, resulting in a stampede that left many trampled or asphyxiated victims, including more than 40 children.
Abdul Haris, a match organizer, was found guilty of negligence and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of six years and eight months.
“I sentence the accused to a year and a half in prison”, judge the president Abu Achmad Sidqi Amsya told the Surabaya City Court.
This is Indonesia’s first decision on the tragedy.
The judges also found security official Suko Sutrisno guilty of negligence and sentenced him to one year in prison.
“The defendant did not anticipate the chaos because there had never been an emergency situation before. The defendant also did not fully understand his job as a security officer,” said the judge.
The two men have seven days to appeal the verdict.
Three local police officers have also been charged over the incident and are awaiting verdicts.
The former director of the company that runs Indonesia’s premier league has been named as a suspect and is still under police investigation.
Police described the October 1 grounds invasion as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused police of using excessive force.
Officers were seen kicking and beating supporters on the pitch before indiscriminately firing tear gas into the stands.
Football’s world governing body, FIFA, prohibits the use of such riot control methods inside stadiums.
The tragedy has forced Indonesian officials to grapple with lapses in various aspects of the national game, which has been blighted for years by fragile infrastructure, mismanagement and violence.
The Indonesian National Police fired its local chiefs for Malang city and East Java province after the tragedy.
The government has also suspended all competitive football matches, but league matches resumed last month without fans in the stands.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation and pledged to demolish and rebuild Kanjuruhan Stadium to FIFA standards.
A task force investigating the crash called on the head of the Indonesian football association and all members of its executive committee to resign, but they refused to do so.
The match was a clash between fierce East Java rivals Arema FC And Persebaya Surabayawith Arema lose 3-2.
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino in October called the crush “one of the darkest days for football”.


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