FIFA seeks to raise stadium standards in Indonesia

Featured image credit: FIFA

FIFA has announced a collaboration with the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) to raise stadium infrastructure standards in the country.

A FIFA delegation has visited eight stadiums and assessed them from an infrastructure, safety and security perspective. The visit ties in with FIFA’s Memorandum of Understanding with the PSSI, which was signed in November 2023.

The eight stadiums visited were: Sumatera Utara Main Stadium, Teladan Stadium, Patriot Stadium, Wibawa Mukti Stadium, Kanjuruhan Stadium, Delta Sidoarjo Stadium, Joko Samudro Stadium, and Segiri Stadium.

In October 2022, 135 people were killed after a stampede occurred during a match at Malang’s Kanjuruhan Stadium. The stampede occurred as fans invaded the pitch before being met with tear gas from police, with the ensuing panic leading to fans rushing towards the stadium’s exits.

In March 2023, two football officials were handed prison sentences for their role in the disaster. The match at the 42,000-capacity stadium was between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya. Following the disaster, the PSSI worked with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation to set up a taskforce to increase public security capacity.

The eight stadiums are being renovated by Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing, and FIFA’s visit was part of a larger series of inspections of these projects. The visit focused on stadium ingress and egress, access, evacuation routes, and spectator circulation flow.

FIFA will now prepare an assessment report and give recommendations to the PSSI and local authorities. The FIFA delegation included the governing body’s stadium and infrastructure consultant Benjamin Veenbrink and regional development manager Karan Mirchandani.

Mirchandani said: “Our visit today underscores FIFA’s commitment to supporting the PSSI in transforming Indonesian football infrastructure. The tragic events of 2022 must drive us to ensure that all football fans can enjoy the sport in a safe and secure environment in stadiums.”

Last year saw Indonesia host a FIFA event for the first time as it staged the U17 World Cup. The country had been due to stage the U20 World Cup earlier in the year but it was stripped of the tournament due to local disapproval of Israel’s participation.

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