President Joko Widodo says "locked doors and steep stairs" in the Malang city stadium led to the disaster, one of the deadliest in football's history.

The Indonesian leader's visit came as anger grew over police officers' role in the tragedy that killed 131 people.
The Indonesian leader's visit came as anger grew over police officers' role in the tragedy that killed 131 people. (Reuters)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has visited the stadium where a stampede after a football match at the weekend killed at least 131 people, advocating an overhaul of stadium management, including crowd control.  

"We need...improvements in the whole management, management of stadium spectators, time, security. It must all be fully audited so that this tragedy won't happen again," he told reporters at the Kanjuruhan stadium outside Malang city on Wednesday.

Widodo said the main problem during Saturday's stampede in the city of Malang in East Java province was "locked doors and steep stairs". He said he expected a safety assessment of all stadia in Indonesia to be completed in one month.

Earlier in the day, Widodo visited relatives of the victims and talked to the wounded at a hospital, vowing to find the "root" cause of one of the deadliest disasters in the sport's history.

"I want to know the root of the problem that caused this tragedy so that we can get the best solution," Widodo said.

"I will order the public works minister to audit all stadiums used for the (football) league," he said outside the Saiful Anwar hospital, adding he had spoken to FIFA's president the night before about improving Indonesia's "football management".

READ MORE: Indonesia probes top officers as football stadium disaster fatalities rise

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The Indonesian leader's visit came as anger grew over police officers' response to a pitch invasion after fans of Arema FC tried to approach players following their defeat to fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.

Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting.

Officers responded to the pitch invasion with force, kicking and hitting fans with batons, according to witnesses and video footage, pushing fans back into the stands where many were trampled or suffocated to death after tear gas was fired.

In response to the tragedy, Widodo ordered all matches suspended, an investigation into what happened, and compensation for victims.

Indonesia's chief security minister said a task force had been created and that the probe would take two to three weeks.

Police said the investigation was focusing on six gates at the stadium using CCTV footage from cameras placed outside them. It said the exits were open but too small for the crowds attempting to pass through them.

But Indonesia's football association spokesperson said on Tuesday some gates that should have been opened 10 minutes before the final whistle remained closed.

They stayed shut "because of late commands" and officers "had not arrived", he told a press conference.

The Malang police chief was replaced on Monday, nine officers were suspended and 19 others were put under investigation over the disaster in the stadium, according to police.

READ MORE: Indonesia calls for punishment of 'perpetrators' in stadium stampede

Source: AFP