FIFA intervenes after deadly stampede at Indonesian soccer match

Following a deadly stampede at an Indonesian soccer game, FIFA and the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) will form a task force to improve safety measures at future matches, per a report from Reuters.

During a recent match between Peresbaya Surabaya and Arema Malang, rival fans began brawling in the stands and throwing objects at players and officials. That is when police fired off tear gas, which is against FIFA safety regulations, and prompted those in attendance to rush for the exits.

To make matters worse, some of the exit doors were locked and the stadium was over capacity. As a result of the chaos, 174 people died, either from being trampled or suffocation.

In total, more than 300 people were taken to the hospital, and BRI Liga 1 suspended games for a week while the country’s football association began its investigation. Ultimately, six people, including police and match organizers, are now facing charges.

“I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last soccer tragedy in this country. Don’t let another human tragedy like this happen in the future,” Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, said, per ESPN. “We must continue to maintain sportsmanship, humanity and a sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation.”

Speaking with reporters, PSSI head Mochamad Iriawan said the partnership with FIFA will help bolster the organization’s safety procedures to prevent such a catastrophe in the future.

“We agreed to form a taskforce, or soccer transformation taskforce, consisting of the government, FIFA, and experts in soccer, security, and stadiums,” Iriawan said.

Making sure Indonesia’s safety measures are up to par is of vital importance to FIFA because the country is set to host the under-20 World Cup next year.

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