Police attacked in Indonesia riot

Police attacked in Indonesia riot
By Reuters

14/05/2012 at 13:33Updated 14/05/2012 at 15:35

Indonesia football fans rioted, attacking police officers and setting fire to cars after a weekend game, local media reported on Monday.

The violence erupted after Persipura Jayapura were beaten 1-0 at home by Persija Jakarta, said police after they and match security officials were pelted with stones by the rioters.

"The fans began destroying things right after the match ended," local police chief Alfred Papare was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Globe.

Police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd, forcing them to flee the stadium but once outside, angry fans set a military truck and an ambulance ablaze, he added.

"We're attempting to identify the instigators behind the violence," Alfred said.

Both sets of players and match officials had to wait for three hours for order to be restored and the crowd to disperse before they could leave the stadium, according to police.

Benhur Tommy Mano, the Persipura chairman and Jayapura mayor, criticised the behaviour of the fans.

"There was no need for the violence," he said. "Persipura still has a shot at winning the Indonesian Super League."

The latest outburst of crowd trouble could hardly come at a worse time for embattled Indonesian football officials.

The country's football association (the PSSI) is already treading on eggshells with FIFA over the chaotic state of its domestic game.

A potential FIFA ban for failing to reconcile the country's two leagues still hangs over their head, having already wriggled out of an earlier deadline in March.

The PSSI, already facing threats from Indonesia's government vowing to take control, has until June 15 to get its house in order or face FIFA sanctions.