A gathering of soccer fanatics turned into a tragedy when a brawl between supporters of Persebaya Surabaya and Arema Malang of the Indonesian Premier League escalated into a full on brawl and stampede.
ESPN reports that after the game ended brawls broke out, which prompted the police to fire tear gas, which caused the crowd to panic and rush to the nearest exits. This resulted in a crowd stampede that have either suffocated or being trampled, resulting in 34 deaths. More than 300 people were taken to nearby hospitals, many losing their lives on their way or during treatment. The toll reported by East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta comes near 127 casualties. The events are still ongoing, which most certainly see that number increased.
It is certainly a shame that a joyful sporting event turns into a tragedy like this case. We must never forget that what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch, and if one really loves the team they support must either face the loss with dignity or the win without belittling the opponent’s supporters.
At BFW, we encourage our readers (who mostly are Bayern Munich fans) and any football supporter to be civilized towards opposing fanbases.