Belgium-Portugal cancelled after attacks
Belgium’s friendly international with Portugal, due in Brussels next Tuesday, has been called off following the deadly explosions that rocked Brussels airport and metro, local football authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
“For security reasons and also as a measure of precaution, the Brussels City hall asked us to cancelled the March 29 home game with Portugal, so the match is off, a communique from the Belgian Football Union said.
The move came a day after the triple blasts that killed some 30 people and left around 250 injured in the Belgian capital.
Local media said the Belgian football Union had proposed to switch the venue of the game to Portugal after originally struggling to get a positive response from officials at home about going ahead with the tie.
Marc Wilmots the national coach, who was an all-action midfielder, who played at four World Cups for the Red Devils himself, had wanted the game to go ahead as scheduled in Brussels.
Meanwhile French Prime Minister Manuel Valls promised this summer’s Euro 2016 football tournament would go ahead as planned in France between June10-July 10, for which Belgium are amongst the favourites.
Asked whether it was wise to maintain the event, given the level of threat of there being another terrorist attack, Valls said not to do so would be “a victory for terrorists.”
An international friendly between Netherlands and France scheduled for Friday evening “will take place as scheduled” despite the attacks in neighbouring Belgium, the Royal Dutch Football Federation said Wednesday.
The Dutch are scheduled to meet Les Bleus at the Amsterdam Arena in the wake of Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels, which officials say have killed at least 30 people.