Dortmund Attack

For the Love of the Game

Germany Soccer Explosion
Monaco supporter Olivier Pourcel gives thanks in front of a Borussia Dortmund flag for being taken in by an opposing fan. Source: AP/Olivier Pourcel

The intense rivalry of the Champions League was cast to the sidelines on Tuesday night, following a bomb attack on German soccer team Borrusia Dortmund.

The team had just left its hotel by bus on Tuesday evening when the vehicle was hit by a set of explosions in bushes en route to a quarter-final match of Europe’s premier soccer tournament against AS Monaco.

The attack in Dortmund, which left Spanish defender Marc Bartra with a broken wrist, led organizers to postpone the game until Wednesday night. The German authorities are frantically trying to identify who is responsible.

The cancelled match stranded Monaco fans who had planned to head home after the game but local fans and citizens opened their homes in a true show of sportsmanship. Using the hashtag #bedforawayfans on Twitter, people offered up spare rooms and sofas.

Individual tweets were shared hundreds of times. One local Stefan Kilmer offered accommodation to five people on Twitter, and later posted a photo of Monaco and Dortmund fans having dinner together at his home. It has since been liked more than 24,000 times.

Borussia Dortmund President Reinhard Rauball told German public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday morning that he was personally impressed with the compassion shown by Monaco and Dortmund fans alike. “A friend of mine sent me a text straight away saying he would like to provide shelter for 10 Monaco fans,” he said.

Authorities at a news conference on Wednesday said that the match would go ahead in the evening as scheduled, a decision agreed upon by security, state and federal officials.

Borussia Dortmund was back on the soccer pitch on Wednesday morning, and tweeted a photo of the team training for what is likely to be a deeply emotional game.

Barbara Woolsey is an editor at Handelsblatt Global in Berlin. To contact the author: b.woolsey@extern.vhb.de

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