by Christian A. Hoch, AIPS Young Reporter, Germany
DORTMUND, April 12, 2017 – Two hours before the Champions League quarterfinal match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco a targeted bomb attack was reported on the bus of the German club. BVB defender Marc Bartra was seriously injured and underwent surgery due to a broken bone and shards of glass in his right hand. The match between the two teams has been postponed to Wednesday, April 12 at 18.45 local time.
At the time of the explosions all of Borussia Dortmund’s players were on the bus. “Suddenly there was a big bang. I was sitting next to Marc Bartra”, BVB keeper Roman Bürki described the situation to Sky Sport News HD: “He was hit by splinters of glass.” One explosion destroyed two big glass windows on the bus. The Spanish defender was immeditaely transported to a nearby hospital – where he would later undergo surgery on his right hand. In the course of the night the investigators switched the status of his injury from lightly injured to seriously injured.
Dortmund Chief of Police Gregor Lange held an official press conference late Tuesday night after the attack, where the explosions where the explosion was defined as a targeted bombing attack on the Borussia Dortmund team. In addition, Lange urged fans and the public to keep calm and not to spread rumours regarding the incident: “We will give our best to analyse the act of violence and to find the solution. But at this moment we have no detailed information as to why there was this attack against Borussia Dortmund.”
Dortmund’s City Attorney added: “In the near of the crime scene, we found a letter. Please understand, that I do not want to tell anything about the content now.”
The first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco was postponed to the following day. “We will aggravate the security measures for all players and fans in the stadium,”Gregor Lange said. On Tuesday, 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the match, the supporters at Signal-Iduna-Park were informed about the explosions. Afterwards there were positives scenes of AS Monaco away fans chanting in support of their rival team filled the stadium and quickly became viral on social media.
#BedForAwayFans as a dawn of hope
After Norbert Dickel, the stadium announcer of Borussia Dortmund, informed the supporters of BVB and Monaco of the incidednt, German fans and their counterparts from Monaco started to sing together the anthem “You´ll never walk alone”. The touching scenes showed that people won´t tolerate certain individuals destroying the game of football.
Those outside the stadium also showed their solidarity on a difficult night for international football. With the hashtag #BedForAwayFans on Twitter and Facebook Dortmund locals offered the French supporters an opportunity to spend the night at their homes. So that they are able to stay one more day in Germany and watch the game.
It is scenes and symbols like this that express the fact that human solidarity and values are stronger than violence and blind hate.