Visit of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to Indonesia: No Empathy, Loss of Common Sense

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) as one of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) which is a member of the Joint Fact-Finding Team of the Civil Society Coalition highlighted President Joko Widodo’s meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Tuesday, 18 October 2022.1 The meeting occurred due to the Arema FC vs. Persebaya Surabaya tragedy, which left approximately 133 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

The meeting resulted in at least 3 (three) mutual agreements between the Government of Indonesia and FIFA. First, in the joint agreement, the President stated that the Government of Indonesia and FIFA agreed to carry out a complete transformation of Indonesian football. In this case, the Government and FIFA agree that the Kanjuruhan tragedy is an essential lesson for Indonesian and world football so that nothing will happen again in the future. These transformation efforts include the feasibility of football stadiums in Indonesia.

Second, at the meeting, it was also agreed that the agenda related to the U20 World Cup in 2023 would continue. In this agreement, we highlight the Government’s high ambition to continue to run the World Cup regardless of the problems that occurred in the Kanjuruhan Tragedy of October 1, 2022. Furthermore, thirdly, the final agreement is related to efforts to review football stakeholders in Indonesia. This effort is a form of the overall transformation of Indonesian football.

We consider that the three joint agreements between the Government and FIFA do not show partiality to the victims of the Kanjuruhan Tragedy on October 1, 2022. The agreement only focuses on the Government’s ambition to make Indonesia the epicenter of football in Indonesia and even the world. In this case, we assess that the ambition does not prioritize the protection, promotion, and respect for human rights, especially for the victims; the loss of 133 lives and hundreds of other people did not even become the main subject of the agreement between the Government and FIFA at the meeting.

Not only highlighting the results of the FIFA President’s meeting with President Joko Widodo, which did not discuss anything related to efforts to restore and fulfill the rights of victims, we also highlighted the fun football agenda carried out by President of FIFA Gianni Infantino after a meeting with President Joko Widodo on Tuesday, 18 October 2022 last

night.2 In the fun football agenda, Mochamad Iriawan (Iwan Bule) was also present as the General Chair of PSSI. We consider that the fun football agenda shows the loss of empathy and conscience from the PSSI General Chair and FIFA President when several victims of the Kanjuruhan Tragedy are struggling with their situation.

We consider the arrival of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to Indonesia to hold a meeting with President Joko Widodo and PSSI as a step that is not relevant at this time. Considering the current situation and conditions related to victims are still not finished. Stakeholders are instead focusing on discussions related to the transformation of Indonesian football as a whole, not on efforts to restore and fulfill the rights of victims, as well as issues related to the use of force in the Kanjuruhan Tragedy of October 1, 2022. then. It should also be remembered by the President of FIFA and the President of Indonesia that the Kanjuruhan incident is the second-largest event in the world which, of course, has violated the human rights of Indonesian citizens.

On this basis, KontraS urges:

First, the Government, through President Joko Widodo, to ensure that the Kanjuruhan Tragedy will not repeat itself and ensure that the investigation process runs in an accountable and transparent manner with due regard to command responsibility;

Second, the Government ensures that the fundamental rights of victims of the Kanjuruhan Tragedy are fulfilled both psychologically and physically by taking into account the victims’ rights to recovery, truth, justice, and guarantees of non-recurrence;

Third, National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) must immediately investigate the Kanjuruhan incident as a case of gross human rights violations;

Fourth, President of FIFA must immediately impose sanctions on PSSI as a form of implementing the Human Rights Policy and Programme so that it does not just become a written rule.

Jakarta, 19 October 2022, KontraS Worker’s Body


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Fatia Maulidyanti Coordinator of KontraS

Contact Person: 081259269754