Indonesia to demolish soccer stadium where stampede killed over 130 spectators
By Tjeman Supriwono
19 November 2009
The Indonesian government has announced that it intends to demolish one of the world’s largest stadiums known as the Yas Diadala stadium in Jakarta, one of the deadliest football stadiums in history. The soccer stadium, built for the 2005 World Cup, was built to hold 15,000 spectators. However, due to the huge crowds attending the World Cup the stadium was expanded to 25,000 seats.
In August, over 5,000 people, many of them young and elderly individuals, were killed at the stadium when the Indonesian Soccer Football Federation (PSISU) and the Indonesian police failed to control the massive crowd. There were reports of the number of deaths going as high as 130. It is estimated that of these 130 people, at least 85 people died due to stampede after the police and the PSISU used faulty equipment and procedures to try to stop the crowd. The government, who had initially claimed that the stadium would be evacuated and the fans brought to a safer area, and instead opened fire on the crowd, which killed some of the spectators as well as the police, but later changed its mind and the remaining spectators were allowed to return.
The government had planned to build 1,000 new luxury apartments around the stadium and had claimed that the area would be completely renovated. However, this plan was abruptly halted once it became clear that not a single luxury apartment and not even one affordable housing unit would be built on the site.
On October 30, the government proposed that only a four-story residential building with a parking space for 1,200 cars be built around the stadium. However, this plan was stopped only to be revived a few days later to build another four-story building. The government still claimed that it had no intention of demolishing the site and promised to rebuild the stadium to meet the new demand once the World Cup ends. When the Indonesian National Sports Academy (ANSA) announced that it would not support the new plans for the stadium, the government, fearing for the safety of the thousands of spectators attending the World Cup, decided to