According to reports, at least 129 people have lost their lives after fighting broke out in East Java following a match between Indonesian Liga 1 sides Arema and Persebaya Surabaya [Sky].
Thousands of Arema fans reportedly stormed the field of play after their side lost 2-3 to Persebaya on home turf, sparking tragic scenes and one of the worst stadium disasters of all time.
According to reports, a stampede broke out on the pitch when police fired tear gas into the riotous crowd, sparking terror, panic and a heartbreaking crush.
A local health official quoted by the Sky report claims people died of “chaos, overcrowding, trampling and suffocation” with at least two said to be police officers.
Vehicles are said to have been set alight during the riot, including police cars, with more than 300 people rushed to hospital in the aftermath of the incident.
Football in Indonesia has had a reputation for violence in recent years but this riot stands as one of the worst examples in the global game’s history.
Indonesia’s football league has now been suspended for at least a week, with home side Arema officially banned from hosting football matches for the rest of the season and further sanctions potentially to follow.
Rangers & Celtic get perspective as Indonesia football riot stuns world
It’s a sad day for Indonesia and for Indonesian football but also for the football community as a whole as horrible scenes are followed by reports of over 120 deaths.
Our thoughts go out to all involved in the incident and the grieving families, as Rangers and Celtic fans get a little perspective on the gravity of football rivalry and their own quarrels.
Nobody deserves to go to a football match and never come home no matter what team they support and on what is a tragic day for the beautiful game fans across the world will be mourning this monumental loss of life.
There have been incidences of riots between Rangers and Celtic in the past – see the 1980 Scottish Cup Final – and the situation in Indonesia highlights just how dangerous they can be.