Syed Saddiq slams Indonesian police for downplaying football violence at Jakarta stadium


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Sep 2019

Policemen detaining a supporter of Indonesia next to supporters of Malaysia (in black) after an incident during the FIFA world cup preliminary qualification round 2 at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Sept 5. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP)

PETALING JAYA: The Youth and Sports Minister has chided the Indonesian police force for downplaying the violence that broke out at the Malaysia-Indonesia World Cup qualifying match as fans "splashing water".

"If they were only 'splashing water', why was the game forced to be halted until the situation was calm again," Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman questioned on Twitter early Saturday (Sept 7).

"Why was there a need to fire the tear gas?"

"Why were we quarantined for more than two hours?"

"Why were there supporters in front of my eyes throwing metal objects?"

"I demand justice," he said.

Syed Saddiq was responding to a CNN Indonesia report quoting Indonesian police Head of Metro Jaya Police Public Relations Commissioner Argo Yuwono denying that there was a riot at the stadium.

Argo said the Indonesian supporters were merely "splashing water".

He also denied that there were Indonesians who were detained or any police officers who were injured.

CNN Indonesia said it saw the police firing tear gas towards the crowd at the VVIP entrance at Gate 1.

What was supposed to be a sweet victory for Malaysians who witnessed Harimau Malaya beating Indonesia 3-2 in their World Cup qualifying match quickly turned sour at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Thursday (Sept 5) night.

The match was marred by crowd trouble and had to be stopped for 10 minutes until police intervened during the second half, and things took a turn for the worse for Malaysian fans as the game ended.

Metal objects, bottles, flares, among others, were thrown at the Malaysian fans.

It was also confirmed that at least one Malaysian was injured during the incident.

Syed Saddiq and his entourage were placed in quarantine within the stadium before they could leave safely.

Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Imam Nahrawi had also apologised for the violent incidents.

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