INDONESIA

Indonesian football fan beaten to death by rival supporters

Indonesian football fan beaten to death by rival supporters

TIMUR MATAHARI

AFP

More than a dozen people have been arrested after supporters of Persib Bandung deadly beat a Persija Jakarta fan before a match between the two sides.

A football fan was killed in Indonesia on Sunday after he was beaten to death by a group of supporters of an opposing team two hours before the two squads were due to play in Bandung.

Haringga Sirla, a 23-year-old supporter of Persija Jakarta, died on Sunday after being attacked by Persib Bandung fans.

According to police spokesperson Yoris Maulana, some 16 people had been arrested in connection with the attack.

He added that Haringga came to Bandung alone on Sunday to watch the match and was picked up by a friend who lived in the city. When the pair arrived at the Gelora Bandung Lautan Api Stadium, they were confronted by a mob of Persib fans who were checking for holders of non-Bandung ID cards.

Haringga, who had a Jakarta ID card, was chased by the mob and eventually surrounded.

“The victim was immediately beaten, until he died at the scene,” Yoris said. “Some [people] beat him with their hands and feet, while others used objects, such as wooden planks and helmets.”

This is the seventh death of a fan linked to a match between these two teams since 2012, according to local football analyst Akmal Marhali.

“This keeps happening because of neglect by authorities,” Marhali was cited as saying by Channel News Asia.

“In the past there hasn’t been any firm punishment for violence and vandalism … it’s become a habit in Indonesian football.”

Deep condolences

After the tragic incident, the Indonesian Football Association expressed its condolences.

We hope this kind of incident will not happen again in Indonesian football,” it said in a statement.

West Java governor Ridwan Kamil condemned the tragedy.

"I deeply regret and deplore the barbaric action of some supporters who tarnished Persib's hard-fought victory," said Ridwan, who watched the match in the stadium, wrote in an Instagram post.

Persib Bandung and Persija Jakarta are the biggest and richest clubs in Indonesia’s Liga One, the country’s top tier.

At Sunday’s match, Persib beat Persija 3-2.

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