TIMELINE | How did Indonesia’s deadly football stampede unfold?

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  • The stampede left 125 football supporters dead and more than 100 injured.
  • According to police, over 40 000 spectators were present at the sold out football game.
  • All the fans were supporters of Arema Malang.

Violence, chaos and a deadly stampede that erupted following a domestic league football match on Saturday night marked one of the worst sporting disasters in history.

Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated rival Arema Malang in Saturday night’s match in East Java province’s Malang city.

At least 125 people were reported killed in the incident and more than 100 were injured. The death toll has been revised down to 125 from 174.

Here is a timeline of how events unfolded:


  • According to police officials, some 42 000 spectators were present, making it a sold-out event.
  • All the fans were supporters of Arema Malang, as organisers had banned the Persebaya Surabaya fans to avoid chances of a brawl breaking out between fans.
  • The game begins at 20:00 (13:00 GMT)

During the match

Persebaya defeat Arema 3-2 at the latter’s home ground.


  • The game ends at about 10:45 (15:45 GMT).
  • After the final whistle, spectators pour into the field.
  • Fans throw bottles and other objects at players and football officials, and rioting spreads outside the stadium.
  • At least five police cars are toppled and set ablaze and many more are damaged.
  • Riot police respond with tear gas, which is banned at stadiums by FIFA, world football’s governing body.
  • Hundreds of spectators rush to an exit gate to avoid the tear gas, resulting in a stampede that saw 34 people trampled or suffocated to death almost instantly, with many more deaths to follow due to injuries.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo expresses his deepest regret and orders a thorough investigation into the case.
  • He also orders the suspension of the premier football league until a re-evaluation on match safety measures is carried out and tighter security put in place. Widodo says he hopes “this tragedy will be the last tragedy of football in Indonesia”.
  • Indonesia’s football association also bans Arema from hosting matches for the remainder of the season.
  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino says the football world is “in a state of shock”.
  • Rights group Amnesty International urges Indonesia to investigate the use of tear gas at the stadium and ensure that those found in violation are tried in open court.

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