The friendly match between Spain and Belgium in Brussels is cancelled in the last minute due to security and safety concerns, which followed after the six tragic terrorist attacks in Paris. The decision was made in the Monday evening.
Around 130 people died and hundreds of people were injured in the six attacks on 13th November in the French capital. One of the targets was the State de France, where a friendly match between France and German was taking place. Three people were killed after the explosion at the entrance of the stadium. Also, it was reported that a man with a gun had tried to enter during the football match.
French authorities indicated that Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Belgian, is the leader and the mastermind of the deadly attacks on Friday in Paris. As soon as the investigation of the terrorist attacks has begun, it was a known fact that there is a Belgium connection and the Brussels’s neighbourhood Molenbeek is the central point. A massive police action took place there on Monday. Unfortunately, any arrests related to the terrorist attacks were made.
The Ministry of the Interior’s Crisis Centre has confirmed that there is a high threat to the friendly match between Spain and Belgium. Another terrorist alert was elevated and more suspects are being investigated. The authority recommended to call off the game, because they should not take any risks.
The Football Association has consulted with the national team of Spain and the authorities. Both Belgian FA and Spanish counterparts decided that the friendly will not take part, due to the exceptional circumstances and high level of danger.
The FA deeply regrets that the event is not happening, but they cannot take any risks with fans and players. Safety and security of everyone is a main priority.
Jacques Lambert, organiser of the next summer’s European Championship, confirmed that Euro 2016 would go as planned and it would be staged at France. There is no change in the schedules of the other football games.
He said if they cancelled Euro 2016, it would mean that they were playing the game of the terrorists. Lambert added that the necessary decisions would be made and the championship would take place in the most secured and safe environment.
“Security in stadiums works well, the risk is more in the streets, in spontaneous gatherings.”, he said.