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At least 174 die in Indonesian football crush
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Members of the Indonesian army on the pitch at the Kanjuruhan Stadium
Members of the Indonesian army on the pitch at the Kanjuruhan Stadium

The Asian Football Confederation president has expressed his "deep shock and sadness" after at least 174 people were killed in a stampede at an Indonesian Premier League match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya.

Police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse rioting fans on the pitch after hosts Arema were beaten 3-2 at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang on Saturday.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said people died after being crushed and suffocated as they ran towards the same exit.

Around 180 more people were reportedly injured on a tragic day, with Afinta stating that 3,000 of the approximately 40,000 spectators in attendance had invaded the pitch initiating "riots".

It was initially reported that about 130 people had lost their lives, but officials later confirmed the death toll had climbed.

The Football Association of Indonesia launched an investigation into the cause of the crush and banned Arema from hosting games for the remainder of the season.

All remaining Liga 1 matches due to be staged this weekend were suspended following the tragedy.

AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: "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 and the clubs."

Indonesia is scheduled to host the Under-20 World Cup in May and June.

"We're sorry for this incident. This is a regrettable incident that 'injures' our football at a time when supporters can watch football matches from the stadium," Indonesian sports and youth minister, Zainudin Amali told Kompas.

"We will thoroughly evaluate the organisation of the match and the attendance of supporters. Will we return to banning supporters from attending the matches? That is what we will discuss."

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