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Indonesia to demolish football stadium where scores died in crowd crush

The Indonesian football stadium where more than 130 people were killed in a crowd crush on 1 October will be torn down and rebuilt, the country’s president has said.

“For Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, we will demolish and rebuild it according to Fifa standards,” Joko Widodo told reporters after meeting the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino.

More than 40 children were among those who died after the disaster in the city of Malang, East Java in what Infantino described as “one of the darkest days for football”.

After supporters invaded the pitch at the end of a league match between Arema FC and rivals Persebaya Surabaya, police fired teargas into packed stands, sparking a crowd crush.

Widodo said the stadium would be replaced with a new one, “with proper facilities that can ensure the safety of both players and supporters”.

Speaking on the same day, Infantino said Fifa would help “reform and transform” Indonesian football.

“What I can guarantee to all the people of Indonesia: Fifa is here with you, Fifa is here to stay, Fifa is here to work in a very close partnership with the government, with the Asian Football Confederation and with the federation of Indonesia,” he said.

The gates at the 42,000-capacity Kanjuruhan stadium, which was opened in 2004, were big enough to fit only two people at a time and some were not open on time when disaster struck, officials have said.

According to experts on Indonesian football, shaky infrastructure, mismanagement, hours-long waits to leave outdated stadiums and the potential for heated passions have contributed to violence that has killed scores since the 1990s.

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