FIFA has pledged to improve Indonesia's football security following the tragedy

FIFA has pledged to improve Indonesia’s football security following the tragedy

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The head of soccer’s governing body met with Indonesia’s president Tuesday and pledged to help improve stadium security to prevent a repeat of a tragedy in which police In a match, tear gas was used, due to which 132 people were killed. People tried to escape as spectators.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said it would bring expertise and investment to improve infrastructure in the soccer-loving nation of more than 276 million people because “they love soccer and we owe it to them when they watch the games.” You go, they are safe and secure.”

He said that FIFA will work together with the government, the Asian Football Confederation and the Indonesian Football Association to ensure that the U20 World Cup will be successfully hosted by Indonesia.

“My presence here marks a new departure for football in Indonesia,” Infantino said at a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. “What I can guarantee to the president, what I can guarantee to all the people of Indonesia, FIFA is here with you.”

The October 1 tragedy at a stadium in Malang, East Java, which killed 132 people, including 43 children, was the world’s deadliest sports disaster. The government said about 580 spectators were injured.

A fact-finding team set up by Widodo in response to national protests concluded on Friday that tear gas was the main cause of the tragedy.

The statement said that the police did not know that the use of tear gas is prohibited in football stadiums and used them “indiscriminately” on the field, inside the stadium and outside the stadium. There were more than 42,000 spectators inside. Exits, most of which were closed.

The fact-finding team, which included government officials, football and security experts and activists, found the National Football Association, known as PSSI, negligent and disregarded the rules and asked its president and executive committee to to resign

Police fired tear gas at the end of the match as fans stormed the field after their team, Arima FC, was beaten at home for the first time in 23 years by rivals Prasabaya Surabaya. Only Arima fans attended the match as the organizers had banned Persibaya supporters due to Indonesia’s violent history of football.

The National Police has dismissed the police commanders of East Java Province and Malang District, and nine other officers have been dismissed for violating professional ethics.

Authorities have said they are bringing criminal charges of negligence against six people, including the league’s chief organizer, PT Liga Indonesia Baru, two Arima FC officials and three police officers who fired tear gas at officers. allowed or ordered. Each could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Despite the national passion for the sport, the PSSI has long struggled to govern football in Indonesia because of the game’s close ties to politics and years of corruption, violence and mismanagement.

Winning the right to host next year’s Under-20 World Cup was a major step in Indonesia’s football development and raised hopes that a successful tournament would help resolve long-standing problems.

Widodo stressed that Indonesia will host the tournament professionally and in accordance with FIFA’s safety standards.

“We agree that this tragedy is a very important lesson for Indonesian football and also for the world,” Widodo said.

He said his administration has agreed to completely overhaul Indonesian football to ensure all parties are run in accordance with FIFA’s security standards.

While in Jakarta, Infantino will also meet with the fact-finding team to discuss the results of its investigation and its recommendations to the government, and speak with the PSSI executive committee, which is responsible for restarting the league. Looking for, which is done. Postponed since the tragedy.

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