Soccer fans die in stampede

2011-11-21 21:47
Police try to control the crowd at the Southeast Asian Games (AP)

Jakarta - Two fans died in a stampede at the Southeast Asian Games soccer final here, a report said on Monday, overshadowing a win on penalties for defending champions Malaysia against hosts Indonesia.

The two men, wearing Indonesian red-and-white football team T-shirts were taken to hospital at 20:30, around 90 minutes after the stampede broke out, according to a report by the news portal, which cited a paramedic.

Local media reported that several other spectators had been taken to hospital, including a nine-year-old boy who had fallen into a coma, as tens of thousands of fans swarmed to the Gelora Bung Karno stadium for Monday night's final.

Hundreds of people were packed tight against ticket barriers as police closed the gates shortly before kick-off, with many fans inside forced to crouch in aisles and walkways, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

"As we were entering the stadium, the crowd of people pushed each other to make their way forward," Helmi, a relative of one of the victims, told AFP.

He said that his relative "was pushed away from me and we were separated. I then heard that some people had fallen and that people had died."

Helmi added that he "rushed to check" and found his relative dead.

Those in the stands endured a nerve-shredding night and eventual heartbreak as Malaysia won 4-3 on penalties with the game deadlocked at 1-1 after extra-time.

Captain Baddrol Bakhtiar stroked home the winning spot kick to give the visitors gold with a 3-4 penalties victory, sparking jubilant scenes on the pitch and silencing the crowd who had hoped to see Indonesia claim their first Games football gold for two decades.

In a game lacking quality but packed with incident, the hosts took a deserved lead after five minutes when centre-back Gunawan Dwi Cahyo popped up unmarked at the back post to head in a corner.

But Malaysia regrouped, despite the deafening roar of the home fans, to equalise in the 33rd minute with a diving header by Omar Muhammad Asraruddin after some suspect defending by the hosts.

Indonesia missed two penalties, allowing Bakhtiar - who was the game's standout player - to steal the headlines with a ice cool spot kick into the bottom corner.

Indonesia topped the Games medal tally with 171 golds and a total medal haul of 454 putting them well ahead of second-placed Thailand on 105 first places, but the win most wanted by fans was in the under-23 football event.

Competition officials had tried to cool the temperature ahead of the game, after Malaysia said they had requested armoured vehicles to escort the team to and from the stadium.

Fears the atmosphere could sour were stoked on Sunday after fans angered by a shortage of tickets, burnt down a ticket booth inside the ground and besieged the media centre.

"I really hope our supporters behave themselves and support their team in a good way," Rita Subowo head of Games' organisers Inasoc told AFP before the game.

Inasoc officials had taken to radio and television to call for calm ahead of the match.

The two nations share a long and bitter enmity driven by political and cultural rows and an fierce sporting rivalry, intensified at this Games by the relentless barracking of Malaysian athletes by local fans.

Malaysia's chef-de-mission Datuk Naim Mohamed said Indonesian police had reassured him visiting players and supporters would be protected but urged Games officials to ensure the competition ends on a high.

Elsewhere Thailand - who won the 2009 Games - took a commanding hold on second spot in the medals table with 105 golds on Monday, nine clear of Vietnam who were on 96.

The SEA Games, held once every two years, run until Tuesday and see 11 nations competing for hundreds of gold medals.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.