Indonesia police: Stadium exit gates too small for escape route
An Indonesian policeman stands guard at the exit gate at the match-day security check point inside a stadium during an international football match between the national football team and Uzbekistan, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, May 29, 2016. Organizers of the world-ranked 2017 Asian Cup have announced the opening of a “special” stadium exit zone at which fans would be checked. (AP Photo/AhzFooty, Joko Widodo)
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Match-day security at international soccer stadiums has tightened to make sure that fans don’t take their anger and grief outside the gates, using the latest technology to see whether they can go.
A police officer in a black uniform is at the entry gate to the stadium looking for any suspicious behavior. Fans who fail to show their tickets can be ejected from their seats.
Security officers also check whether fans are in good physical condition. They ask supporters to leave their backpacks beside their feet, and place laptops, cameras and other electronic devices to the side of their seats.
The measures are meant to prevent fans from staging disturbances at the gates, which have come under attack from a resurgent fan movement that has challenged the authority of the national soccer federation, the national team and the government.
It is rare for government officials to speak so openly on any topic, but the security measures to combat potential dissent at soccer stadiums are indicative of the growing mood among Indonesians in the wake of the team’s elimination from the world championships in Brazil.
The measures, which have been tested in four of six stadiums before the Asian Cup, have been a response to threats by people who want to disrupt the opening and closing ceremonies of the games.
They are also part of an emerging political mood in the country following last September’s shock presidential election that was won by president Joko Widodo, whose political party and