Borussia Dortmund's team bus was the victim of what was believed to be a targeted bomb attack on Tuesday night before the Champions League clash with Monaco, as a letter found outside the hotel “[taking] responsibility for the act” was found.
Three explosions went off next to Dortmund’s team bus as it travelled to the Westfalenstadion for the first-tie of the club’s Champions League match against Monaco.
The Spanish player Marc Bartra was seriously injured in the incident and later underwent an operation on a broken wrist. The match between Dortmund and Monaco was immediately called off and rescheduled for Wednesday.
In a press conference following the attack, the police chief for the city of Dortmund confirmed that the team bus was the intended target for the “serious explosive devices” which struck the coach, although reiterated it was not yet clear who was responsible for the attack.
“At this time, it is still not clear what the real background to this act is,” Dortmund police chief Gregor Lange told a news conference.
“We must start from (the position this was) a targeted attack on BVB's team. Strong police forces are in operation.
“We also have explosive detection dogs in use and decided to search the scene from the air. At the present time it is not clear what the background of the act is.”
The police earlier said in a statement that the explosives “may have been hidden in a hedge near a parking lot”.
A prosecutor added that a letter found outside the hotel the team bus was departing from when the explosions happened “takes responsibility for the act”.
However, prosecutor Sandra Luecke said authorities won't give details of the unauthenticated letter at this stage, citing the ongoing investigation.
The police were also asked at the press conference about rumours of an alleged blackmail plot against the club. “That’s the first we’ve heard about that,” Grange replied.
The Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin later said that he was “deeply disturbed” by events in Dortmund and backed the decision to reschedule the match.
He said in a statement: “I was deeply disturbed by the explosions which occurred in Dortmund.
“The decision taken to postpone the Uefa Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco was the correct one since we must always prioritise the safety and security of all fans, team officials and players.”
Fifa president Gianni Infantino also published a statement, saying: “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.”