Site of Indonesian stadium disaster to be demolished

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said that the stadium where more than 130 people died following a stampede earlier this month will be demolished and rebuilt.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Widodo said that Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang will be rebuilt “according to FIFA standards” as part of plans to “thoroughly transform” Indonesian football.

The stampede occurred during a match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya on October 1 as fans invaded the pitch and were met with teargas from police. The ensuing panic led to fans rushing towards the stadium’s exits, which caused a crush.

Last week, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) announced that a taskforce will be set up to increase public security capacity following the disaster. FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation will support the taskforce.

Following the tragedy, Widodo ordered an audit of all football stadiums in the country, and six people were later charged with negligence causing death. They include three police officers and three people responsible for the match and its security, including the head of Arema FC’s organising committee and one of the club’s security officers.

Widodo has now confirmed that the stadium will be demolished and rebuilt with “proper facilities that can ensure the safety of both players and supporters”, the AFP news agency has reported.

Infantino added: “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 and with the federation of Indonesia.”

Indonesia is due to host the FIFA U20 World Cup next year and Infantino said the tournament will go ahead as scheduled.

The death toll following the disaster has now risen to 133 after a 33-year-old man died from injuries sustained in the stampede, hospital officials said. An investigation released last week found that the disaster was initially caused by police spraying teargas into the stands.