Belgium friendly called off after Brussels attacks

Published March 23rd, 2016 - 02:26 GMT
Belgian football federation logo
Belgian football federation logo

Next week's football friendly between Belgium and Portugal has been called off in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, the Belgian football federation KBVB said on Wednesday.

"For security reasons and precaution, the City of Brussels has asked the Belgian FA to cancel the match Belgium - Portugal ... The match of our Belgian Red Devils against Portugal, scheduled Tuesday night at the King Baudouin Stadium, will not take place," the KBVB said in a statement.

At least 30 people died and many more were injured in Tuesday's attacks at the airport and a metro station in Brussels.

World ranking leaders Belgium had earlier cancelled training sessions Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is the second straight Belgium game called off in connection with terrorism which has overshadowed their preparations for the Euro 2016 summer tournament in France.

A friendly with title holders Spain set for November 17 last year was cancelled amid a terror threat four days after the attacks in Paris, in which the Stade de France - where France were playing Germany at the time - was one of the targets of suicide bombers.

The incidents in Paris and Brussels highlight that security will be huge factor in the staging of the June 10-July 10 event in nine French cities.

French state secretary for sports Thierry Braillard told Wednesday's edition of the L'Equipe sports daily that "the terrorist threat was incorporated into our thinking from the beginning" and that "you cannot do better in terms of security for the Euros."

Braillard said that each team will be protected by elite police officers and insisted there were no plans to cancel or postpone the tournament because it "would prove these cowards right."

© 2021 dpa GmbH

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