Indonesia's top league suspended after fan killed by mob of rival supporters
Indonesia's top league has been suspended indefinitely by the nation's football association after a Persija Jakarta fan was killed by a mob of supporters of rival club Persib Bandung over the weekend, according to local media reports.
Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) chairman Edy Rahmayadi told the Jakarta Post on Tuesday that an investigation into the death of Persija fan Haringga Sirila had been launched.
"We have to make sure the diagnosis is correct before we take action," Rahmayadi said.
"We have rules, there will be sanctions, starting from the lightest, like a reprimand, to a fine or even disqualification."
Haringga, 23, was beaten to death by a mob near Bandung's Gelora Bandung Lautan Api stadium shortly before the match on Sunday and a video of the killing circulated online, sparking national outrage.
Indonesia's Youth and Sports Affairs Minister, Imam Nahrawi, backed a two-week stoppage to Liga 1 to allow the investigation to take place.
"This is a form of respect for victim and their families. This is also a form of national condolence and is a form of introspection. One life is very expensive compared to football," Nahrawi told the Antara News agency.
Fan violence has been endemic in Indonesia in modern times and deaths a regular occurrence. Rahmayadi stated that Haringga was the 95th football-related death since 2005.
In recent years there have been truces between fan groups, discussions held at the highest levels and games played with no away fans but still the violence continues.
The rivalry between fans of Jakarta, the capital, and Bandung, the country's second city just 73 miles (117 km) to the southeast, is particularly fierce. The game is not only the highest-profile clash in Indonesian football, it is also regarded as the most violent.
Indonesia president Joko Widodo expressed his sorrow over the incident and told reporters he has instructed the Minister of Youth and Sports to meet with the relevant stakeholders.
"There must be a joint commitment so that the incident is not repeated," said the former Governor of Jakarta.
"The most important step is for the ministry, the FA and fan groups to sit together to find out what is wrong and reach a solution."