After more than 130 people were murdered in a crowd stampede at a match this month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and FIFA president Gianni Infantino met on Tuesday. They agreed to reevaluate safety procedures at stadiums across the country for World Cup 2022.
World Cup 2022 | After tragic stampede, FIFA, Indonesia promise soccer safety improvements
President Widodo met with the head of international soccer’s governing body, FIFA’s Sepp Blatter, in Jakarta after the two organizations agreed to form a joint task force in the wake of the stadium catastrophe and in advance of Indonesia’s hosting of the Under-20 World Cup in 2019.
Infantino stated that the reform and transformation of football in Indonesia would be his top focus and that the safety of soccer fans was a responsibility he took very seriously. Police firing tear gas onto the pitch, a crowd control method outlawed by FIFA, has been blamed for the stampede after a match on October 1 at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java.
Infantino is scheduled to speak at a conference of the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies in Bali this November, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said last week. In response to mounting public demand for answers about what led to one of the world’s deadliest stadium tragedies, a government-appointed fact-finding team issued a report last week blaming the “excessive” and “indiscriminate” deployment of tear gas.