First prison sentences handed down after stadium disaster Indonesia

First prison sentences handed down after stadium disaster Indonesia
Flowers and messages of support in front of Arema FC stadium

NOS NewsCustomized

Two men have been sentenced to prison terms in Indonesia for their roles in one of the deadliest stadium disasters ever. Last October, 135 fans were killed at a match in East Java. They are the first prison sentences handed down in the investigation into the disaster.

On October 2, 2022, things went completely wrong after the matches between rivals Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya. Angry supporters of Arema stormed the field after the 3-2 home defeat. Police fired tear gas grenades, then in the panic and chaos, supporters were trampled underfoot and displaced.

Deaths in riots after soccer match: ‘We can’t have this in the future’

One of the convicted men was on the organizing committee of the home-playing club Arema FC and must serve a year and a half in prison. According to the court in Surabaya, he was responsible for selling too many tickets for the match. As a result, there were far more people in the stadium than the maximum allowed capacity. The court states that because of his “negligence” people died.

The other convict is a security officer. He must serve a year in prison, also for negligence.

Investigations found that the massive use of tear gas by police was the main cause of the disaster. World soccer federation FIFA banned its use at matches.

Three police officers also face punishment. When those cases will serve is not yet clear.

Kayleigh Williams