Dantesque images is what football spectators experienced in Indonesia on Saturday night, in the city of Malang, in Java. After the defeat of the FC Arema team, thousands of supporters invaded the playing field. The police reacted by launching tear gas until much of the place was covered in a thick wave of smoke while thousands of people ran in all directions. About 200 dead among people crushed or suffocated is the result of the drama.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered the soccer championship to stop and asked the authorities to carry out an investigation to determine the causes that led to the greatest tragedy in local soccer. The place where the drama took place is the Malang stadium, a sports field with 60 years of history, the scene of the match between local FC Arema and Persebaya Surabaya. The local club’s fans, known as “crazy lions”, are considered the most ardent supporters of a team in the country, reports RFI’s correspondent in Kuala Lumpur.

After the defeat of FC Arema by a score of 2-3, thousands of fans invaded the field; law enforcement responded using tear gas canisters at will, until the playing field was blanketed in a dense wave of smoke. In the stands thousands of spectators tried to flee, generating movements of panic and chaos.

According to the authorities, there were many more spectators than the stadium is capable of receiving. 42 thousand tickets were sold for 38 thousand places that the normal capacity of the stadium.

The authorities also speak of another error. The match was played at night when the matches are usually held in the afternoon.

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