Sunday 17 December 2017

'Not very fair' - Dortmund boss hits out at decision to play Champions League tie one day after explosion

DORTMUND, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Thomas Tuchel, head coach of Borussia Dortmund looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco at Signal Iduna Park on April 12, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Thomas Tuchel, head coach of Borussia Dortmund looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco at Signal Iduna Park on April 12, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Samuel Lovett

Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel has expressed his dissatisfaction that his side have been forced to play their Champions Leauge quarter-final tie with Monaco one day after the team were subject to a terrorist attack.

The coach carrying the Dortmund team to Signal Iduna Park was hit by three explosions ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night, smashing some of the vehicle's windows and leaving Spanish defender Marc Bartra with an injury to his hand and arm.

A police officer, who had been travelling on a motorbike in front of the bus, was also injured. He is said to be suffering from blast trauma and shock.

A suspect has since been arrested while German police confirmed that they are investigating links to so-called Islamic State.

Officials confirmed on the evening of the attack that the game would be rescheduled for tonight, but Tuchel has seemingly hit out against the decision.

"There are players who can easily deal with what's happened and others who worry more," he said ahead of Wednesday's game. "Very mixed feelings.

"We wished we'd had more time to deal with what happened but someone in Switzerland decided we have to play. Not very fair.

"We've been left feeling a bit helpless by the decision. But professionals find solutions to problems. We are strong enough."

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has also urged his players to show their club does not bend to “terror and hatred” in an emotional dressing-room address.

Watzke admitted the bomb attack on the team bus had left the team needing to come to terms with the “incomprehensible” very quickly.

And he said that when the team took to the Westfalenstadion pitch for the rearranged quarter-final first leg they would be playing “for everyone – no matter whether Borussia [Monchengladbach], Bayer [Leverkusen] or Schalke supporters”.

Watzke said in a statement on the club website: “The BVB family was always especially strong when it had to cope with difficult situations. This is perhaps the most difficult situation that we have faced in the past decades. I am sure that we will show ourselves as a strong and united BVB like never before.

“We do not just play for us today. We play for everyone – no matter whether Borussia, Bayer or Schalke supporters. We want to show that terror and hatred can never dictate our actions. And of course we play for Marc Bartra, who wants to see his team win.

“We ask all BVB fans to support our team today with total energy for 90 minutes. This team had to process the incomprehensible in a short space of time. We should all help you to come to terms with it.

“I just appealed to the team in the changing room to show society that we do not bend before terror.”

(© Independent News Service)

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