Dortmund boss angry as team loses to Monaco less than 24hrs after ‘Islamist’ bus attack


Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has said the club had not wanted to play its Champions League game against Monaco a day after a bomb attack on its bus.

The German team lost 3-2 in the quarter-final first leg, without star defender Marc Bartra, who required surgery for injuries to his wrist and arm.

Dortmund’s players said they had not wanted to play the match so soon, although European football’s governing body Uefa responded to the club’s anger by insisting it had agreed to the rapid rescheduling.

Three devices packed with metal pins detonated close to the team bus as it headed to the stadium on Tuesday evening, causing the match to be postponed.

German authorities arrested a suspected Islamic extremist on Wednesday, but said other motives were possible.

There was tight security at Wednesday evening’s match, with armed police officers in body armour patrolling the streets around Dortmund’s stadium, while supporters were banned from taking backpacks to the match and some were frisked

After the match, Tuchel said his players had wanted more time to recover from the previous day’s attack.

He felt Uefa had not taken the attack seriously enough and claimed “we weren’t asked at all at any time” about whether to proceed with the game.

“Basically, we had the feeling that we were being treated as if a beer can had hit our bus, and half an hour later the decision was there that (it would be) tomorrow at 6.45pm,” Tuchel said.

“That gives you a feeling of powerlessness.”

Despite the congested calendar in the final months of the season, Dortmund believed the game could have been shifted to a later date. The second leg is being played next Wednesday in Monaco.

“We were not attacked on the field by an opponent; we were attacked from inside the bus as men,” Tuchel said in a post-match broadcast interview with former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft.

“Of course this has an effect and it was a terrible experience for all of us. We wanted to have a bit more time to deal with it. We didn’t get the time.

“The team wanted so badly a bit of time to deal with it so we were in our best shape because the dream is to go to the semi-finals in Europe.

“We had the feeling today everybody that we are not in the best shape, not focused enough for football. Who will blame us for that? Nobody.”

Tuchel added: “Everybody has the right to deal with it the way he wants to. If you want to talk about it, talk. If you want to be silent, be silent. If you need a hug, I hug you or find someone who hugs you at home.

“It’s all different characters and it was very inspiring to see how we dealt with it in the second half. We made a good second half. The game is over now and it feels a bit weird.”

Midfielder Nuri Sahin said he did not want to be back on the pitch so soon after being involved in such a traumatic experience.

“I don’t know if people can understand this, but until I was on the pitch, in the second half, I didn’t think about football to be honest,” he said.

“I know football is very important, we love football, we suffer with football … and I know we earn a lot of money, we have a privileged life. But we are human beings, and there is so much more than football in this world and last night we felt it.”

“The decision to play the match today at 18.45 (local time) was made last night at BVB stadium in co-operation and complete agreement with clubs and authorities,” Uefa communications director Pedro Pinto told The Associated Press.

“We were in touch with all parties today and never received any information which suggested that any of the teams did not want to play.”


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