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Players abandon Euro qualifiers after 2 fans were killed



Sweden, Belgium abandon Euro qualifiers after 2 fans were killed

Sweden made the difficult decision not to continue the second half of their Euro 2024 qualifier against Belgium, following a tragic incident where a gunman claimed the lives of two individuals donned in Swedish football shirts.

The victims were identified as wearing Swedish national team attire at the time of the shooting, as reported by local sources.

As of now, no suspect has been apprehended, and Belgium’s capital city is currently under the highest terrorism alert. The area surrounding the incident has been cordoned off, with police actively investigating the case.

A police spokesperson confirmed the tragic loss of two lives in the shooting, while a spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office refrained from disclosing any details about the victims or a potential motive behind the attack.

The Belgium vs. Sweden match had been taking place at the King Baudouin Stadium, situated approximately three miles from the site of the shooting. However, the game was prematurely halted at halftime, with the score level at 1-1.

The match had initially seen former Coventry City star Viktor Gyokeres opening the scoring for Sweden in the 15th minute.

Romelu Lukaku, currently on loan at AS Roma, equalized for Belgium from the penalty spot in the 31st minute.

The players, faced with the unsettling incident that had transpired before the match, decided not to continue the game after the halftime break.

The decision was made out of respect for the victims and the prevailing atmosphere of concern and uncertainty.

UEFA swiftly issued a statement in the wake of the match’s abandonment, explaining,

“Following a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels this evening, it has been decided, after consultation with the two teams and the local police authorities, that the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden is abandoned. Further communication will be made in due course.”

Belgium’s Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, expressed his condolences on social media, writing,

“My deepest condolences to the relatives of the cowardly assassination attempt in Brussels. We are monitoring the situation and would like to ask the residents of Brussels to be vigilant.”