Borussia Dortmund really should not have been made play their Campions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco on Wednesday night after the attempted explosion of their team bus on Tuesday.
UEFA have a lot to answer for after postponing the original fixture for a mere 24 hours. Monaco won the game 3-2, but it was clear that football was not at the forefront of any Dortmund player’s mind as they were essentially still in a raw state of trauma following the previous night’s events.
The rescheduling of the game had taken place so quickly, it was apparent that the German club were not consulted on their state of mind or wellbeing, but more so instructed when they were to fulfil this fixture.
There has been a common consensus that at times like this football is to take a back seat. Not so, on UEFA’s watch, worryingly.
BREAKING: German police say explosives that damaged Borussia Dortmund's bus were a targeted attack against the team #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 11, 2017
It has been reported that the three bombs detonated along the team bus route to the stadium was a planned terrorist attack and was intended to wipe out all aboard.
There has been a warrant for the arrest of the suspected attacker, who has links to terrorist organisations.
German prosecutors say Dortmund attack suspect was a member of Islamic State in Iraq who had arrived in Germany via Turkey in early 2016
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) April 13, 2017
Spanish international Marc Bartra was miraculously the only physical casualty in the incident. The defender suffered a broken radial bone in his arm and had debris lodged in to his hand after the windows of the bus shattered due to the explosion.
He is expected to make a full recovery but will miss several weeks of action as a result of surgery he underwent on his injuries on Tuesday night.
Bartra posted this on his Instagram account on Wednesday morning, which will come as a relief to Dortmund fans and football fans the world over.
View this post on Instagram
Hola a todos! Como veis ya estoy mucho mejor, muchas gracias a todo el mundo por los mensajes de apoyo! Toda mi fuerza a mis compañeros, afición y todo el @bvb09 para el partido de esta noche! #HejaBVB Hello everybody! As you can see I am doing much better. Thank you everybody for all your support and your messages! All my strength to my team mates, supporters and fans and to @bvb09 for tonight's match! #HejaBVB
Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel slammed European football’s governing body for their lack of concern for the team, ensuring that the last eight tie was the last thing on the German club’s agenda having just escaped an explosion intent on killing them. Tuchel blasted UEFA for treating his side as if it were a “beer can” had been thrown at the team bus, not a deadly bomb that had been detonated.
The 43-year-old German claimed his side should have been afforded more than just 24 hours to recover from the traumatic event. It is difficult to dispute that argument. Having been subject of a life threatening terror attack on Tuesday, how should they be expected to fulfill a Champions League quarter-final fixture, not to mind perform, on Wednesday?
Tuchel was enraged that UEFA did not take the incident and the telling effect it had on his players more seriously, which is completely understandable in the circumstances.
This is what he had to say in his press conference (via Sky Sports):
“We were never asked; we were informed by a text message that the UEFA made a decision in Switzerland. It felt lousy. And that sticks with us.
“Minutes after the attacks, the only question was whether the game could go through or not. We were treated as if a beer can was thrown at the bus. It gives you a feeling of impotence.
“It will stick with us that we have to function and that everything else plays no role. We are outside of the bus, Marc [Bartra] gets driven away in an ambulance, and we are informed about the decision. It does not feel good.”
Midfielder Nuri Sahin gave an insightful and chilling interview after the game, which really put context on Wednesday night’s match. An emotional Sahin appears visibly still shook and trying to come to terms with what he has experienced in the past 24 hours.
Explaining the mood in the camp, with the players still in cold shock, the Turkish playmaker put the game into perspective for viewers at home. Sahin insisted that football was not a priority in such a moment.
This will come as grim viewing for UEFA officials as their lack of empathy in such an extreme situation has been exposed:
— Viaplay Fotball (@ViaplayFotball) April 12, 2017
Roy Keane and Lee Dixon spoke on ITV last night about the “shocking scenes” on Tuesday night. The ex-Manchester United captain admitted his admiration for the Dortmund players for putting on a good performance in an entertaining game and claimed they deserved great credit.
Dixon echoed the cries of Tuchel after the game, insisting that UEFA should have considered the distress of the players and at least consulted them before giving the game the go-ahead the following evening.
“Not to consider the players emotions, I mean, three bombs went off by the coach, explosions. That’s surely enough for them to say to the players… they surely should have been asked, ‘Do you want to play, lads? Is it okay?'” Dixon said.
Keane feels that life must go on as normal in the battle against terror campaigns and was happy to see how the players responded to the atrocities of the previous evening.
“If the game had been cancelled, you are almost letting the lunatics win. You have to get on with it and both teams deserve great credit for it.”
Football fans around the world also sympathised with the Bundesliga club:
Klopp: "I'm pretty sure the people who made the decision afterwards, if they had been in the bus, they would not have played the game." #bvb
— Dortmund Fans (@Dortmund__Fans) April 13, 2017
Dortmund really should have gotten more time to recover. Imagine the team's state of mind after only 24 hrs. Pathetic UEFA.
— 𝗔𝘆𝘀𝗵𝗮 𝗥𝗶𝗱𝘇𝘂𝗮𝗻 (@ayshardzn) April 12, 2017
Absolutely scandalous that those Dortmund players were made to play tonight
— corner taken quickly (@ThoseScouseLads) April 12, 2017
Aaron Ward, Pundit Arena