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Arema FC coach, Javier Roca is a living witness to the Kanjuruhan tragedy which claimed the lives of hundreds of spectators.
Javier Roca was interviewed by Carrusel Deportivo, a Spanish sports program broadcast on CADENA SER on Monday (2/10/2022).
At least 125 people died and hundreds were injured as a result of the riots by Arema FC supporters and the repressive actions of the authorities at the Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang Regency, Sunday (1/10/2022) night WIB.
The Kanjuruhan tragedy began with the 2-3 defeat of Arema FC against Persebaya Surabaya in the East Java (East Java) derby with high tension and prestige.
Arema supporters, Aremania, stormed onto the field and were shot by tear gas by the police so that the crowd scattered, crammed into crowds, which resulted in many people being killed.
Javier Roca describes the East Java derby as “whoever wins is the best, and whoever loses must die.”
That’s how it is. It’s time to reflect,” said the Chilean architect in Carrusel Deportivo regarding the Kanjuruhan tragedy .
“I was devastated mentally. I felt a very strong burden, even responsibility. The results ordered and determined what happened in the end,” said Javier Roca.
Javier Roca tried to trace what happened in the Arema FC dressing room when the riots occurred. A number of spectators entered the locker room and several people died.
“About 20 people entered the dressing room and four of them died,” said Javier Roca.
Javier Roca did not expect Arema FC militants, Aremania to enter the field after the long whistle sounded to approach Aldison Maringa et al.
“We never thought this would happen. The players have a good relationship with the fans,” he explained.
Kanjuruhan’s situation at that time was really sad. After holding the press conference, Javier Roca saw with his own eyes, someone was carrying a boy’s corpse.
“I went to the dressing room and some players remained on the pitch. When I came back from the press conference, I found tragedy in the stadium. There were boy victims, ” added Javier Roca.
Javier Roca then witnessed the incident of the Kanjuruhan tragedy that will probably always resonate with him for the rest of his life.
“The most terrible thing is when the victim enters to be treated by a team of doctors. About 20 people enter and four people die. There are supporters who died in the arms of the players,” he said.
Because he was occupying the press conference room, Javier Roca was not on the field when the riots erupted. He only sees photos and videos. However, he considers the police action in dispelling the supporters has gone too far.
“The tragedy was not caused by one cause. The stadium was not ready. They didn’t expect such a big mess. Nothing like this happened in the stadium and so many people were running,” said Javier Roca.
“I think the police went overboard. I wasn’t on the field and I didn’t feel what was happening. Looking at the picture, maybe they could use another technique.”
“This is a remote stadium. We are in a relatively small city. There is not enough capacity,” said the former Persik Kediri coach.
Finally, Javier Roca stands with many parties who want peace in football, especially in Indonesia.
“There is no result in any game, however important, it is worth a life,” said Javier Roca.
PSSI spokesman in the Kanjuruhan Tragedy, Ahmad Riyadh, said that the police were aware of the ban on the use of tear gas in football matches. However, Ahmad Riyadh said that the National Police had a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in taking such action.
FIFA has strictly prohibited the use of weapons and sedative gas or tear gas in the security of football matches. However, in reality it is still being done in Indonesian football.
The police know that they cannot use tear gas because it is prohibited by FIFA. However, there is an SOP for handling crowds in stadiums for large crowds,” said Ahmad Riyadh at a press conference in Malang, Tuesday (4/10/2022).
Ahmad Riyadh emphasized that PSSI did not want to be further involved in discussing the use of tear gas by the police. According to Ahmad Riyadh, later there will be another investigation related to the matter.
“Regarding tear gas, there will be an investigation in the security sector. We are only concerned with the implementation of the match,” said Ahmad Riyadh.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the PSSI Disciplinary Commission (Komdis), Erwin Tobing, said that the Match Organizing Committee had socialized to the police regarding the ban on the use of tear gas. However, the police are said to have their own SOP for crowd security.
“That is indeed a concern for us. In some developed countries, Article 19 of the FIFA statutes has been implemented. In European countries there, the steward has played a very big role,” said Erwin Tobing.
Tear gas shots into the stands of the Kanjuruhan Stadium caused chaos among the supporters. The shot made the fans panicked until they gathered at one point at the door of the Kanjuruhan Stadium to scramble out and eventually resulted in the deaths of 125 people.
The PSSI Disciplinary Commission (Komdis) handed down heavy witnesses for Arema FC, the Head of the Competition Organizing Committee, and the Security Officer (Security Officer) Arema FC. Arema FC received a ban on playing at home with spectators and was expelled to a venue that was at least 250 km away from Malang.
Meanwhile, Komdis also imposed severe sanctions on the Chairperson of the Arema FC Competition Organizing Committee, Abdul Haris and Arema FC Security Officer, Suko Sutrisno. Both are considered to have failed to anticipate the entry of Arema FC supporters into the field which resulted in riots.
PSSI Komdis opens the opportunity for this decision to be appealed. Because, everything is in accordance with Article 119 of the PSSI Disciplinary Code.
Liga 1 season 2022/2023 is certain to take a longer break due to the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium which claimed hundreds of lives. PSSI General Chair Mochamad Iriawan confirmed that this season\\’s competition was temporarily suspended indefinitely.
“We have temporarily suspended the 2022/2023 Liga 1 competition indefinitely. In addition, the Arema FC team is prohibited from hosting for the rest of the competition this season,” said Mochamad Iriawan.
Liga 1 2022/2023 has played 11 weeks. The top of the standings is inhabited by Borneo FC, which is superior on goal difference from Madura United.
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