Indonesia police: Stadium exit gates too small for escapees
An Indonesian police spokesman described the chaos after a riot at the Jakarta stadium, that was allegedly sparked by a dispute over the size of the exit gates for the visitors, as the worst the country had ever seen.
“This is the worst rioting of this kind that we have witnessed in the country,” the police spokesman said, adding that the riot had caused over a billion dollars in damages and had disrupted about 7,000 hours of broadcasting.
The violence at the stadium began around 1 a.m. local time on Saturday morning, during the FIFA World Cup final match between France and the Netherlands.
There were reports that fans threw fireworks, chairs and bottles at police, injuring two people of the police, whose equipment was also damaged.
Video footage of the incident uploaded to YouTube showed smoke billowing from a burning police vehicle, while rioters threw bottles and other objects at police, hurling them to the street.
The footage showed rioters carrying a football fan who, dressed in the white jersey of the French football team, was later seen lying on the ground, injured.
Police said that at least nine people had been shot and 16 others were being treated for injuries at a nearby police hospital.
“Several ambulances were sent to the field because of a lot of people with injuries. There were some gunshot wounds,” the police spokesman said.
The spokesman said a total of four officers were injured, two seriously.
The police spokesman said the riot could have been worst than the one in 1998, when security personnel fought a riot at the stadium, destroying the entrance gates and damaging vehicles.
Authorities had asked the public to stay away from the stadium until late on Saturday evening.
A witness told Ako Sulisti, the Dutch daily newspaper, that he saw fans attempting to break into the stadium from the exit gates.
“They threw bottles and pieces of wood towards us and it was not very long before there were some clashes between the police and fans,” he was quoted as saying.
Witnesses and other officials said that the majority of the rioters were football fans.
The final was being played by the Dutch and the French national football teams, in a game that had caused several violent incidents before in the past. However, this is the first time that a final match has been held in a