Antara, Jakarta – Police officers claimed that they were compelled to fire tear gas in a bid to control the situation during a clash with supporters following the Indonesian League 2 football match between Gresik United and Deltras FC on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19.
"It's because the chaos escalated as fans became increasingly violent," the East Java Regional Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Dirmanto said in Surabaya, on Monday morning, Nov. 20.
He admitted that the use of tear gas to secure football matches is prohibited within the stadium in accordance with the National Police Chief's Regulation (Perkapolri) Number 10/2022.
"[The ban] is inside the stadium," Dirmanto said, clarifying that the ban is only applicable inside the stadium.
He said the East Java Regional Police, together with the Gresik Police, immediately conducted an investigation in the area of the Gelora Joko Samudro Stadium. The investigation was directly led by East Java Police Director of General Criminal Investigation Sr. Comr. Totok Suharyanto.
After the match at Gelora Joko Samudro Stadium, Gresik United fans clashed with security forces.
According to reports received via WhatsApp messages, the riot started when the home fans insisted on staging a protest outside the VIP room over the Gresik United's defeat.
Security pushed back the demonstration and the situation worsened when some of the fans threw stones.
The security officers then responded with stern action, causing hundreds of fans to panic and flee. The police were forced to fire tear gas to control the crowd. Consequently, at least 10 police personnel and seven supporters suffered minor injuries.