Malaysia has taken heed of the tragedy that occurred at an Indonesian football stadium recently and said it will be tightening entry control into its own stadiums after this, according to The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
On Saturday evening, it is speculated that at least 174 people lost their lives at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java, due to a riot that broke out among football fans which resulted in the police firing tear gas that triggered a stampede.
FAM secretary-general Noor Azman Rahman told Bernama that while Malaysia had good security control in stadiums, there are still measures that must be reevaluated to stop the same tragedy from happening here.
The tragedy on Saturday night in the city of Malang, which also left 180 injured, was one of the world’s deadliest sporting stadium disasters.
Some were reportedly crushed in a stampede as supporters rushed to leave Kanjuruhan. The rioting continued outside the stadium into the early hours of Sunday morning until the crowds were eventually dispersed.
Noor Azman said the tragedy should remind Malaysian football fans to display a high spirit of sportsmanship and learn to accept defeat when attending any match.
He also said that FAM was also saddened and expressed their condolences to the families of the victims who died in the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa expressed deep shock and sadness over the tragic loss of lives in the incident.
“I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news coming out of football-loving Indonesia. On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football family, I send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, while expressing our speedy recovery wishes to the fans who have been injured in the incident, and support to the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) and the clubs,” he said.
Malaysia is no stranger to football riots. In 2015, football fans fired flares billowing orange smoke at the Shah Alam Stadium as Malaysia trailed Saudi Arabia at a World Cup qualifier match on Sept 8.
Players and officials hurried from the field and Saudi fans ran from the stands as flares flew around the stadium. Eleven people were arrested but no one was reported injured.