‘Dark day’: FIFA condemns violence at Indonesia football game that killed 125 

At least 125 football fans were killed and thousands injured at a football match held in Malang, East Java.

Thousands suffocated after tear gas was fired by police, triggering chaos among fans who overran the pitch following clashes between supporters of the two teams.

After hosts Arema FC lost to visiting side Persebaya FC 3-2, team fans formed a wave of violence, throwing bottles and other objects at players and soccer officials, according to East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

Fans of Arema FC were beyond agitated to lose their 23-year record of undefeated home matches against their rival Persebaya.

In response, riot police fired tear gas at the Kanjuruhan stadium’s stands, where 42,000 attendees were clustered together.

A sold-out event left a lack of oxygen within the stadium, bringing the death toll from what was assumed to be 174 down to 125, according to East Java Vice Governor Emil Dardak.

Some casualties were reportedly children, a hospital director told local television.

President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been carried out.

Dubbed one of the world’s deadliest sports stadium disasters, questions will be asked regarding the use of teargas inside the venue, which is against FIFA guidance.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has offered his condolences on the tragedy, calling it a “dark day” in football.

“This is a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following this tragic incident,” Infantino said.

La Liga and several Premier League clubs have also condoned the disaster victims.

The Spanish federation has agreed that clubs will observe a minute’s silence before kick-off in Sunday’s games.

Next year, Indonesia will host the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be the first FIFA tournament in the country.

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