Jakarta Police have banned all future matches between Jakarta’s Persija and Bandung’s Persib football sides from being held in the capital, police said on Tuesday.
“For the future, matches between Persija and Persib should be held in a neutral area,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr, Rikwanto said on Tuesday. “Persija and Persib matches have a history of conflict. Over-zealous fans drink, eat without paying and get rowdy to the point that they injure innocent bystanders.”
Supporters of the two clubs are frequently involved in fights before, during and after the fixture.
Rikwanto said that previous efforts to limit contact between both sides, such as limiting match attendance to one group of supporters, had not proven effective.
“Even after we took measures to limit contact, there was still conflict,” he said. “On Saturday, we banned supporters from both camps from watching the match, but a Persib bus was still vandalized.”
A group of 20 to 30 men clad in black arrived on motorcycles to attack the Persib team’s bus as it left a hotel in South Jakarta on Saturday afternoon en route to a match against Persija at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. The team was forced to return home and the match was canceled.
In retaliation, Persib’s fans vandalized cars with Jakarta license plates parked in Bandung on Saturday night.
While violence between the two clubs’ supporters is not a new feature of this particular match, the death of a man on the Puraleunyi toll road, which police believe may be linked to the football violence, appears to have been a factor in the decision.
A Bekasi man, Agus Wahyudi, was traveling with his wife and three other passengers headed toward Jakarta on the Purbaleunyi toll road when he was struck by a stone thrown from a bridge.
One of the stones broke the left window of the car and struck Agus in the chest.
Sr. Comr. Martinus Sitompul, a spokesman for the West Java Police, said that Persib fans were spotted passing the bridge before Agus died on Monday, adding that police had found two men on the bridge.
“Two intoxicated men have been arrested and questioned,” Martinus said, but declined to say whether the men were Persib fans.
The case is still under investigation.