Indonesian Football Association and FIFA set to form task force to improve crowd control

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Officials said on Thursday, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and world soccer governing body FIFA will form a joint task force in a bid to improve crowd control and safety measures after a deadly soccer stampede earlier this month.

Indonesian authorities are under pressure to take swift steps to overhaul soccer safety standards after more than 130 people died during a crowd crush at a match at the Kanjuruhan stadium in East Java on the 1st of Otober, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

Security experts have said the firing of tear gas by police inside the stadium, a measure prohibited by FIFA, triggered the fatal stampede.

PSSI head Muhammad Iriawan, told reporters after a meeting with FIFA officials and said, “We agreed to form a taskforce or soccer transformation taskforce consisting of the government, FIFA and experts in soccer, security and stadiums.”

Muhammad added that, under the plans Indonesian police would ensure their standard operating procedures were synchronised with FIFA regulations.

The joint taskforce will also include members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well as the police and the ministries of sport, home affairs, health and public works.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi said FIFA did not plan to sanction his country over the incident, but the rare intervention by the sport’s governing body comes as Indonesia is due to host the FIFA under-20 World Cup next year.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino is expected to visit Jakarta on Tuesday to meet with Jokowi, after which a joint commitment is due to be announced.

Iriawan says, Infantino will also make a statement during a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 major economies in Bali in November about Indonesia’s readiness to host an international event..

Six people including police and match organisers are facing criminal charges after the stampede, with the government highlighting lax safety measures, such as locked exit doors and an overcapacity stadium, as contributing factors.

Separately, the Indonesian minister of public works said that the Kanjuruhan stadium would be completely renovated after an audit of the site.

Indonesian government promises an investigation: