Open Letter to FIFA: Forming an Independent Team and Sanctions for the Tragedy of the Malang Kanjuruhan Stadium

Civil Society Coalition Fact Finding Team and Omega Research Foundation have sent a letter of objection regarding FIFA’s response to the tragedy that occurred at the Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang.

Considering that the Kanjuruhan Stadium Tragedy has killed up to 132 people and injured 600 people, according to government data, this tragedy is labeled as the second deadliest football tragedy after the Estadio Nacional tragedy in Peru. This was due to the negligence of the Police and the Military in controlling the crowds that kept happening repeatedly.

The actions of the apparatus violated Section 2 of the UN Human Rights Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement, such as the principles of necessity, proportionality, legality, and precaution, as well as Article 19 letter (b) FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations. Although the two regulations are only a guide, the government should be able to include these points in the National regulations.

In addition, we also highlight that FIFA has a Human Rights Approach & Policy that football organizations should comply with, as well as by FIFA itself. Four points are clearly written in the FIFA Human Rights Program to prevent human rights violations. If these violations occur, several points can be implemented, including in the third and fourth points, namely: a) developing a risk assessment of human rights violations, developing mitigation strategies for risks covering topics of labor rights, anti-discrimination, press freedom, and freedom of expression; b) establish and implement a grievance mechanism and work to ensure remediation where adverse impacts have occurred, including reporting the results of investigations or inquiries into violations that have occurred.

In addition, based on the initial findings of the Civil Society Coalition TPF, we suspect that there has been an intentional and systematic act of violence by the security forces that does involve not only field actors but also other actors with higher positions who should be legally responsible. Furthermore, we consider that several provisions of the internal police regulations have been violated, such as National Police Chief Regulation (Perkapolri) No. 8 of 2009 concerning the Implementation of Human Rights Principles and Standards in Performing the Duties of the Indonesian National Police, Perkapolri No. 1 of 2009 concerning the Use of Force in the Actions of the Police and the National Police Chief No. 16 of 2006 concerning Crowd Control.

Currently, the Government has formed a fact-finding team to investigate the Kanjuruhan tragedy. Still, the team is also filled with elements of the police and military who are feared that this will interfere with the independence of the team’s work. Six suspects have been named to date, but the determination has not yet attracted a high-ranking official with high power in this tragedy.

We are aware of the lobbying between the Indonesian government mandated by the President of Indonesia through the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, to FIFA. After the lobbying, FIFA responded without providing any sanctions or indications of alleged human rights violations. However, we also know this decision is not yet a final FIFA decision because the FIFA President has not yet given an official statement regarding the Kanjuruhan Stadium incident. Therefore, TPF Civil Society Coalition, along with other international organizations, will continue to encourage FIFA and send letters of urging so that FIFA can immediately provide a firm response to the situation without any political or business elements.

FIFA should take the issue of police brutality seriously and need to get strict sanctions because, in its statutes, FIFA forgets about organizations that respect international human rights standards and will provide a means of complaint and ensure an effective remedy.

Therefore, we urge FIFA and the Government of Indonesia to:

  1. Recommend all FIFA-affiliated associations to incorporate Article 19(b) of the FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations into national regulations to prohibit the carrying and use of firearms and ‘crowd control gases’ in all football matches and implement the Human Rights Policy & Program;
  2. Encourage the Indonesian government to take appropriate action to provide effective remedies for victims and their families;
  3. Encourage the Indonesian government to establish a fully independent fact-finding team;
  4. Encouraging FIFA to urge the Indonesian government & PSSI to conduct remediation, FIFA must also conduct independent inquiries and remediation of alleged human rights violations that occurred in the Kanjuruhan incident;
  5. Review the steps PSSI has taken to address safety and security concerns and ensure that they are adequate to prevent such tragedies from happening again;
  6. Ensure that FIFA takes disciplinary action or applicable penalties against PSSI.


Jakarta 12 October 2022
Civil Society Coalition Fact Finding Team

The open letter can be viewed at theĀ link