Borussia Dortmund’s Watzke: ‘The team is in shock. We must get through this’

Ed Aarons

The Borussia Dortmund chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, said his players were suffering from severe shock after explosions by the side of their team coach caused Tuesday night’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco to be postponed until Wednesday.

German police confirmed there were three separate explosions near the coach as it travelled to the Westfalenstadion in what they called a “targeted attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team”, while a fourth, undetonated device was found in the vicinity of the team hotel.

The defender, Marc Bartra, was injured by shards of glass and was taken to hospital. He was due to undergo surgery on his injured arm to repair a fracture and remove shrapnel. Images of the coach’s shattered windows appeared to show limited damage to the back windows, although members of the playing staff were seen being ushered away from the scene by armed police. The match has been rearranged for Wednesday, kicking off at 5.45pm BST.

“The team is in shock. We must get through this,” said Watzke, who praised the rapid response of the emergency services. “In extreme situations, all Borussia fans move even closer together and I’m sure the team will feel that tomorrow. Technically, it’s possible to play. If the players are able to shake this off is an entirely different matter.”

The father of the Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino said: “There were three explosions, the worst part of which was in principle taken by Marc, who was in the back. He was shocked.” The Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic told Croatian newspaper 24sata: “We are currently in the stadium, in a safe place, but the feeling’s horrible.”

Supporters of both sides were evacuated after the game was confirmed to have been postponed. Monaco fans showed their support by chanting “Dortmund! Dortmund!” – a gesture appreciated by the German club. “Thanks for your patience and understanding and the ‘Dortmund! Dortmund’ chants, dear supporters of AS-Monaco-EN!” they tweeted.

Meanwhile, Residents of Dortmund offered their spare beds to Monaco supporters, with both clubs alerting fans to the scheme via social media.

“Dear supporters of @AS_Monaco_EN! If you need accommodation in Dortmund, please check #bedforawayfans,” read BVB’s tweet.

Messages of support for Bartra, who was due to start the match, were led by his former club Barcelona as they prepared to face Juventus in Turin in the night’s other quarter-final. “All of our support to @MarcBartra, @BVB and their fans,” read a tweet from the club’s official account.The Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, also offered his support to the clubs and Bartra: “The thoughts of every one of us at Fifa are with the people of Dortmund, and the fans of both Borussia Dortmund and Monaco following today’s troubling events. We are closely monitoring the condition of BVB’s Marc Bartra, and wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries.

“Fifa condemn the incidents in Dortmund. We are all awaiting further details of the incident.”

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