Soccer-UEFA games to hold moment of silence in memory of Indonesian stadium disaster victims

FILE PHOTO: Placards and candles are pictured during a vigil at Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, after a riot and stampede at Kanjuruhan Stadium following a soccer match between Arema vs Persebaya Surabaya, in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

(Reuters) - A moment of silence will be held at all matches in European competitions this week in memory of the victims of the Indonesian stadium disaster that killed at least 125 people, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Tuesday.

Hundreds of spectators were crushed as they tried to flee the overpacked stadium in Malang, East Java on Saturday, after police fired tear gas to disperse agitated fans of the losing home team, Arema FC, who had poured onto the pitch.

The incident is one of the world's worst stadium disasters, with police saying 125 people died, while the Malang city health department put the death toll at 131.

"UEFA has today announced that a moment of silence will be held prior to kick-off in memory of the victims of the tragic events at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia," it said in a statement.

"This moment of silence will take place at all UEFA matches this week (Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women's World Cup play-offs)."

Indonesia's soccer federation said the club's security officer and the head of its organising committee would be banned from the sport for life while dozens of police officers have been placed under investigation, with at least nine suspended.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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