Minute’s silence to be observed at Champions League and other UEFA events


Fans gather during a candlelight vigil for Arema FC fans who died after Saturday’s soccer match on Monday, October 3 at Patriot Stadium in Bekasi, Indonesia. AP

Lausanne: A minute’s silence will be observed at this week’s Champions League, Europa League and Conference League matches in honor of the 131 victims of the Indonesia stadium tragedy, UEFA said on Tuesday.

“UEFA has today announced that a moment of silence will be held before kick-off in memory of the victims of the tragic events at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia,” its statement read.

“This moment of silence will take place at all UEFA matches this week (Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s Cup play-offs).”

The terraces of the Kanjuruhan Stadium were packed on Saturday night with 42,000 “Aremania”, aka Arema FC fans, for a match against fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.

But after a 3-2 defeat the losing at home to their opponents for more than two decades, fans flocked to the pitch to confront players and management.

Read: Indonesia stampede joins list of world’s worst stadium disasters

Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting.

According to witnesses and video footage, officials responded to the pitch invasion with violence, kicking and hitting fans with batons, prompting more fans to enter the pitch.

The death toll rose again on Tuesday with local health official Wiyanto Wijoyo telling AFP that six more victims had succumbed to their injuries.

Indonesian officials said 4,000 more tickets were allocated for the match than should have been been, while some of the stadium’s doors appeared closed, according to witnesses.

Read: United, Barcelona and other clubs offer condolences to families affected

This left physically stronger supporters scaling huge fences to escape the chaos, while the most vulnerable were at the mercy of the stampede as tears rained

FIFA president Gianni Infantino called it “a dark day for everyone involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension” on Sunday.

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