Indonesia jails two football match officials over stadium crush


                Surabaya, Indonesia,):An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed two football match officials for negligence over one of the worst stadium disasters in the sport’s history.

                  The crush in October at a venue in the East Java city of Malang killed 135 people after police fired tear gas into packed stands when supporters invaded the pitch.

                  Hundreds of people fled for narrow exits, resulting in a stampede that left many trampled or suffocated to death.

                  Abdul Haris, a match organiser, was found guilty of negligence and handed 18 months in prison. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of six years and eight months.

                  “I am sentencing the defendant to a year and a half in prison,” presiding judge Abu Achmad Sidqi Amsya told the court in the city of Surabaya.

                  It is Indonesia’s first ruling on the tragedy.

                  The judges also found security official Suko Sutrisno guilty of negligence and sentenced him to one year in prison.

                  “The defendant did not anticipate the chaos because there has never been an emergency situation before. The defendant also did not understand his job as a security official well,” the judge said.

                  Both men have seven days to appeal the verdict.

                  Three local police officers have also been charged over the incident and are awaiting verdicts.

                  The former director of the company that runs Indonesia’s premier league has been named as a suspect and remains under police investigation.

                  Police described the October 1 pitch invasion as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused the police of using excessive force.