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Just how bad did the Dortmund bomb attack have to be to call off game?
by Paul Kennedy, April 13th, 2017 11:55PM
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TAGS:  borussia dortmund, france, germany, uefa champions league


The Borussia Dortmund-Monaco match in the UEFA Champions League was played 24 hours after an explosion went off as the Dortmund team bus left the hotel where players had spent the afternoon.

Initial reports were sketchy, ranging from a firecracker that cracked the back window of the bus to an explosion so loud it could be heard eight miles away at the Signal Iduna Park, the Dortmund stadium.

The determination: Three bombs filled with metal pins were detonated with a remote device (cell phone or garage door-opening device) as the bus went by. Defender Marc Bartra was the only person on the bus who was injured, suffering a broken right wrist and cuts to his left arm. Prosecutors say it was lucky "that nothing worse happened."

Despite the shock of the attack -- midfielder Nuri Sahin said he didn't think of the game until he stepped on the field to start the second half on Wednesday -- Dortmund players were asked to play the next day.

Dortmund players were in no condition to play, going down, 2-0, at the half -- it would have been 3-0 if Monaco's Fabinho didn't miss a penalty kick -- and losing, 3-2.

Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said his players should have been consulted about playing; UEFA says everyone was. FIFPro, the international players union, says Dortmund should not have played so soon and wants clear guidelines set on dealing with a crisis like that which happened.

"Players are people first and their emotional state must be taken into account. This comes before any other consideration,"  FIFPro told Reuters. "We believe the incident was serious enough to warrant a longer delay than 24 hours, irrespective of the challenges it would have posed for traveling fans and to adjust the match calendar."

UEFA's position is that the game had to be played. Both Dortmund and Monaco are involved in the semifinals of their domestic cup competitions and don't have a free midweek until mid-May, after the two legs of the UEFA Champions League are scheduled to be played.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke supported UEFA's position: "We have a very tight fixture list. The second leg is next week. There is no possibility to wait for Thursday. The Monaco team cannot stay here, they also have a game at the weekend."

Watzke said he appealed to his players "to show society that we do not bend before terror." That they did as Dortmund and Monaco players put on a thrilling show for their fans, who were a model of fair play.

But that still begs the question, should it be up to the Dortmund players, who had seen their teammate, Bartra, go off in an ambulance and had not yet returned to their families, to agree to play and carry that burden of showing they won't "bend before terror"?

What if the incident had been worse? Would UEFA still have used the excuse that there were no alternative dates available and Monaco had to get home for another game this weekend?

  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 6:12 a.m.
    What UEFA SHOULD have done was offer psychological counseling to the team, and given them at least 5 days to a week before even thinking about their playing a game. If you've ever been in a serious auto accident, or if you've come home to find your place has been broken into and robbed, you know that terrible fear that is generated. And it doesn't go away in just a day or two. You feel incredibly vulnerable and totally unsafe! Most of the pictures of the bus are from the side and you can't see the damage from the blasts. One picture shows the back of the bus...the whole back seems to have been ripped off or open. The team is so fortunate that more players weren't injured. Shame on UEFA for failing to take the players' mental state into consideration. Or, if they did, shame on them for recognizing that mental state and STILL rescheduling the game for the next day. And the players should STILL be offered psychological counseling.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 7:12 a.m.
  1. Jay Wall
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 9 a.m.
    TWO VIEWS - 1. Delay games until both teams and fans have had time to reconcile what has happened and to erase the immediate reaction from their minds, if possible, but given other terrorist acts over the last 1,400 years scars can easily be life long and even span generations. 2. Don't let the terrorist win by delaying anything longer than is absolutely necessary to guarantee the safety of all in and attending a match. On being sworn in as President, Thomas Jefferson, the Pasha of Tripoli, one of the Barbary States, declared War on the United States when the United States refused to pay tribute for the release of captured American seamen, passengers and ships. Thomas attitude was no one treads on the freedom of Americans on the open seas and immediately send the Navy, Marines and enough money to hire 200 Greeks and 200 Arabs to fight with the United States against Tripoli. Result was total victory and a verse for the Marine hymn. (See First Barbary War 1801 to 1805). Then during the war of 1812 the Muslim terrorist in Algeria Declared War on the United States, seized ships, cargo and enslaved seamen and passengers. James Madison had to wait until 1815 when the War with Britain was over but sent the Navy and Marines under Stephen Decatur. This time the Barbary States lost, enslaved citizens of the United States and many European powers, including England freed, and . . . the Barbary states forced to pay for the cost of the expedition from money paid them by European nations for release of their seamen and citizens. For several hundred years before the Barbary Wars and up to the introduction of iron clad ships the 100 Barbary states enslaved over 1,500,000 citizens of coastal areas of Europe selling the men as slaves and the women as sex slaves. It's history and encouraging violence by allowing it and putting a stop to it let to the lives of millions over the last 1,400 years. So maybe playing the game in safety is more important than taking the time for everyone to lick their wounds and turn the other cheek.
  1. Jay Wall
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 9:04 a.m.
    Error - delete the 100 before Barbary states in above post.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 10:02 a.m.
    Not sure what this has to do with the timing of the Dortmund makeup game but that was an interesting history lesson.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 3:31 p.m.
    The terrorist think they won already. The team lost the reason for the loss doesn't matter to them. As long as they think there were partly responsible for the loss even if they weren't. But putting the game off for a few days doesn't not make them look weak. It make them look human. Terrorist will never be human they were not raised to be human.
  1. Craig Cummings
    commented on: April 14, 2017 at 10:41 p.m.
    And some USA fans have been worried about pulisic being injured on the field. It seems nowhere is really safe. I hope he starts next cup game.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 15, 2017 at 3:43 a.m.
    If you don't know how to tackle safely you can get hurt. Ever try to tackle using the outside of the foot against a guy who tackles using the inside of the foot. That can mean sooner or later your going to get your foot broken. You know how Clint Mathis got his last MCl. The one that killed his game. Trying to stop his leg motion to avoid hurting an opponent. We teach kids how to avoid a slide tackle against them. But also not to lose the ball while doing it. Most players will lose the ball trying to avoid the slide tackle. The opponent knows that so a bad slide tackle is as good as a good slide tackle to them.

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