Kanjuruhan Football Tragedy, Use of Tear Gas, and FIFA Regulations

3 October 2022 18:27 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The local derby match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya held on October 1 at the Kanjuruhan Stadium ended tragically following the death of over one hundred football fans after police personnel guarding the match released several teargas shots in response to a field takeover by some fans.

The shots ended in the tribune that was packed with fans, which eventually caused the reported stampede. The tragedy sparked debates regarding the use of teargas under FIFA regulations. 

FIFA's Regulation on ‘crowd control gas’ 

Citing the official FIFA document on safety and security, the governing body's Article 19 overseeing pitchside stewards states that: “No firearms and 'crowd control gas' shall be carried or used." 

In addition, the safety and security document also oversees other security aspects, namely the position of medical officers and police during a match. Officers are not encouraged to immediately wear shields or masks for certain conditions as well as the rules for the number of field officers and/or police officers on duty.

Chronology of Events

The East Java Police Chief General Nico Afinta claims that the series of tragic events at the Kanjuruhan stadium started when thousands of Arema FC fans took to the field after their team lost to Persebaya Surabaya 2 - 3 at a home match. 

Police's official report claims that these Arema FC fans that stormed the field were attempting to reach the team's officials and players. Nico said that this led security personnel to take action in preventing it from happening. 

Security officials, which consisted of police and military personnel eventually dispersed the rampaging fans by shooting teargas at one tribune section in the stadium because they considered the fans had started to become a threat to the players and team officials. 

"Because of the teargas, they fled to one location, the exit gate. This caused fans to clog up the exit route, which caused people to choke due to lack of oxygen," the police chief explained.

ANDIKA DWI

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