Indonesia Soccer Stampede: Trial Marred by Intimidation Claims

Photo: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Video footage shared on social media showed members of Indonesia's special forces Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) on Tuesday trying to disrupt the ongoing trial of five people over the 2022 deadly crush at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in the city of Malang.

  • This came a day after disgraced former police general Ferdy Sambo was sentenced to death in a high-profile trial that attracted national attention after being found guilty of ordering the murder of a subordinate officer.

The Spin

Narrative A

Soccer riots are relatively common in Indonesia, and this tragedy highlights the problems with the use of tear gas by Indonesian police — which has played a role in many stadium disasters in the nation's history. It's baffling that the police claim they didn't know that tear gas was banned by FIFA. The entire tragedy can be blamed upon years of mismanagement and corruption at the heart of Indonesian soccer.

Narrative B

Indonesian soccer seems to be driven by hooliganism, and it must be remembered that the disaster began after the home team lost. While police and management of Indonesian soccer must be held accountable, we must also hope that the disaster will be a long-overdue wake-up call to stand up against hooligan culture and crowd violence.

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