Sports Minister issues ‘final warning’ to Indonesian soccer association over fan death

An Instagram story posted by Haringga Sirla on the day of his death. In the photo, captioned “Don’t let the tigers (nickname for Persija) struggle alone”, the victim holds up a train ticket to Bandung. Photo: Instagram
An Instagram story posted by Haringga Sirla on the day of his death. In the photo, captioned “Don’t let the tigers (nickname for Persija) struggle alone”, the victim holds up a train ticket to Bandung. Photo: Instagram

The death of Persija Jakarta fan Haringga Sirla at the hands of rivals Persib Bandung supporters has raised questions about whether or not Indonesia’s premier soccer competition should be allowed to continue in the wake of numerous fan deaths due to violent hooliganism in recent years.

Sports and Youth Minister Imam Nahrawi seems like he’s at least considering the idea of putting an end to the professional league with a strongly worded warning to the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) regarding Haringga’s death.

“I have warned PSSI and [competition] operators. This is the final warning from the government. Do not trade lives for soccer,” Imam told reporters yesterday, as quoted by Media Indonesia.

Imam added that the ministry is evaluating the attack on Haringga and will come up with an as-of-yet undetermined sanction to make sure something like this never happens again to another fan.

“I cried, I strongly condemn, and am full of condolences to the victim,” he said.

The Bandung Police have so far named eight people suspects for being involved in the death of Haringga, who was beaten to a bloody pulp by Persib supporters right outside their home ground just because they found out he was a Persija fan. The suspects could each face at least five years in prison for aggravated assault leading to death.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, a self-professed Persib fan, strongly condemned the attack and said that he would rather see soccer banned in Indonesia than for there to be another victim of pointless violence.

Since 2012, seven people from both sides of the Persija-Persib rivalry have been killed in violent attacks by rival supporters.

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!



Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply

BECOME A COCO+ MEMBER

Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

MOST POPULAR