On Friday 13th of November last year, the world came to a standstill as all over the globe people tuned into their TV sets, checked the internet or listened to their radios as the news filtered in of the Paris attacks. Today, our eyes turn to Brussels, as the world collectively gathers with a heavy heart.
Being based in Ireland, this writer noticed that overwhelming fear resounded in a lot of Irish people who knew someone in the city or nearby. With the attacks being so close to home and a popular destination for tourists, fear began to grow. Not that the Irish were categorising the loss of French lives as of lesser importance, but the sinking feeling of knowing someone directly affected can’t be matched.
It was during the France vs Germany game in Paris that it became clear the French capital was under attack and it just so happens that there is international football again this week, with a game scheduled for Brussels next week, as Belgium are scheduled to take on Portugal in a friendly.
Liverpool and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet tweeted this morning about the attacks on Zaventem Airport in Brussels:
— Simon Mignolet (@SMignolet) March 22, 2016
Fears were also echoed by Spurs and Belgium international Jan Vertonghen:
Can't believe I'm reading these things again…
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) March 22, 2016
The big worry here of course is the upcoming European Championships in France. It appears to be an unfortunate coincidence that both attacks happened in major cities around international match weeks but one can’t help but fear the worst.
With tens of thousands of fans expected to travel to France for the Euros, one would hope that it goes off incident free.
Paul O’Dea, Pundit Arena