Indonesia to demolish soccer stadium where stampede killed over 130 people
Mon, Sept 17, 2013 – Page 15
Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy is expected to dismantle a soccer stadium used as the site of a stampede that killed at least 130 people and sparked public outcry over overcrowding.
After the accident in the Indonesian capital late last year, the stadium, used by the national team Fenerbahce, had become a symbol of the country’s growing obsession with sport.
However, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a statement on Friday it is unable to fulfill the order.
“We have sent a letter to the Minister of Religious Affairs… [requesting] that the stadium for Fenerbahce be torn down,” the ministry said, without elaborating.
Dismantling the stadium, which is in the Kebayoran Baru district, will be “a symbolic step” towards addressing the problems in the country’s stadiums, the ministry added.
“The ministry has not received any further information from the stadium operator,” it said.
Following the stampede last year on Sep. 29, which killed at least 130 people, the government promised measures to improve safety in stadiums, including tightening checks on the personnel and equipment involved in games.
The government also said it would investigate possible criminal negligence, but would not disclose the results of the investigation.
Fenerbahce, playing in a World Cup qualifier in South Korea in June, said on its website that the stadium had been in use since 2007 and offered its condolences to the victims.
The stadium had a capacity of 15,500 and hosted games by regional sides including Persija Jakarta, Persijap Jajerawangsa, Bali United, Persebaya and Urawa Red Diamonds.
“Fenerbahce considers this tragedy and the subsequent events as a consequence of the poor quality and inadequate supervision of our stadium facilities.
“Fenerbahce wishes for the public to understand that the safety of our players and of our other people who came to our stadium or played in it is our top priority and is the responsibility of all of us,” the club said.
The government has said it has no plans