Indonesia resumes football league after stadium disaster

JAKARTA: Indonesia resumed football league matches behind closed doors on Monday (Dec 5), two months after it was rocked by one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

The government suspended competitive football matches following a deadly stampede in the city of Malang that killed 135 people, including more than 40 children.

“The football league (season) will be finished. The scheduled (matches) that were determined previously will be completed,” the country’s chief security minister Mahfud MD told reporters before the games began.

He added that matches would be held without fans in the stands.

The government’s decision was made “to support the future of the national football”, Mahfud said.

In a statement on Monday, Indonesia’s football association chief Mochammad Iriawan thanked the government for allowing the resumption of the football league, adding that authorities had worked to ensure it was “safe” to stage matches.

Four matches of Indonesia’s top flight Liga 1 were completed on Monday after the government’s announcement.

After supporters invaded the pitch at the end of a league match between local team Arema FC and rivals Persebaya Surabaya on Oct 1, police fired tear gas into packed stands, sparking a stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java.

Source: CNA

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