Asian Games Stadium Shut After Riot

Officers help remove the stadium chairs destroyed by football fans at Sriwijaya Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Saturday (21/07). (Antara Photo/Nova Wahyudi)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 8:00 PM July 24, 2018
Category : Sports, Football

Jakarta. The Asian Games Organizing Committee has told the operator of Sriwijaya Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang to lock the venue, after it was demolished by football fans last week.

The stadium operator, Jakabaring Sport City (JSC), said 373 seats were destroyed in the incident, some seemingly beyond repair, and as they were produced abroad it may be difficult to replace them before the beginning of the Games.

Basyaruddin Ahmad, Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc) vice director of venue, told JSC to keep the stadium shut from Monday (23/07).

"Fortunately there is still time to make improvements, but we have to hurry to meet the deadline," he said.

Inasgoc secretary general Eris Herryanto decided that no one may use the stadium before the Asian Games, except the national team and foreign teams, which need to test the field before they play on it.

Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said he had no excuses for overlooking the use of the stadium, despite requests by the Olympic Council of Asia to keep Asian Games' venues vacant for a whole month before the event.

The incident has been categorized as destruction of state property. Four Sriwijaya FC supporters involved were arrested on Sunday, a day after their team lost to Arema FC.

The third goal by Arema FC during Saturday's game against Sriwijaya FC unleashed havoc in the 76 minute.

Sriwijaya fans started dismantling their tribune and threw stadium chairs to the field. A warning through loudspeakers was ignored and even more joined in, refusing to stop even when police officers arrived.

Basyaruddin estimates that repairs should be ready by July 31.

The 2018 Asian Games will run in Jakarta and Palembang from Aug. 18 through Sept. 2.

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