MALANG, KOMPAS.com - Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Wednesday, Oct. 5, that he would order an audit of all football stadiums in the country, vowing to find the "root" cause of one of the deadliest disasters in the sport's history.
He was in the city of Malang to visit relatives of the victims and talk to the wounded at a hospital, and to see the stadium where a stampede killed at least 131 people on Saturday, Oct. 1.
"I want to know the root of the problem that caused this tragedy so that we can get the best solution," he said.
"I will order the public works minister to audit all stadiums used for the (football) league," he said outside the Saiful Anwar hospital in Malang, adding he had spoken to FIFA's president the night before about improving Indonesia's "football management".
He entered the hospital to speak with several wounded patients, saying he told them to "stay spirited".
He will then travel to the Kanjuruhan stadium, the scene of the disaster on Saturday evening, according to an official from the presidential office.
The Indonesian leader's visit came as anger grew over police officers' response to a pitch invasion after fans of Arema FC tried to approach players following their defeat to fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.
Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting.
Officers responded to the pitch invasion with force, kicking and hitting fans with batons, according to witnesses and video footage, pushing fans back into the stands where many were trampled or suffocated to death after tear gas was fired.