Brussels Shooting Halts Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 Qualifier, Two Fatalities

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Brussels Shooting Halts Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 Qualifier, Two Fatalities

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Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 Qualifier Abandoned After Brussels Shooting

In a shocking turn of events, the Euro 2024 qualifier match between Belgium and Sweden was abruptly abandoned at half-time due to a deadly shooting in Brussels. The incident occurred even before the game had commenced, prompting Belgian authorities to raise the terror alert to its highest level in the capital. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo described the incident as a “brutal terrorist attack.”

UEFA officially confirmed the abandonment of the match due to what they termed a “suspected terrorist attack.” The situation unfolded just 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off, taking place approximately three miles from the stadium. While it remains unclear if the victims were attending the game, reports indicated that they were wearing Swedish football shirts.

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At half-time, with the score at 1-1, the game was suspended, and fans were instructed to remain within the King Baudouin Stadium until security conditions permitted their departure. In a show of unity, fans chanted slogans like “All together” and “Sweden, Sweden” as they waited anxiously. Eventually, the 35,000 supporters were allowed to leave the stadium in groups, but the perpetrator responsible for the shooting remains at large.

Janne Andersson, the coach of the Swedish national team, confirmed that they were informed of the incident at half-time and collectively decided not to continue with the match. Victor Lindelof, the Manchester United and Sweden defender, stated that the safety of supporters was paramount, leading to the mutual decision to abandon the game.

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The gravity of the situation prompted both the Swedish and Belgian Football Associations to express their thoughts and condolences for those affected on social media. The Belgian national FA conveyed their empathy, echoing the sentiments of the Swedish FA, urging everyone to “keep calm and take care of each other.”

The events in Brussels have shaken the city to its core, prompting an immediate elevation of the terror alert to the highest level. With a perpetrator still at large and heightened security concerns, residents are being advised to stay at home. Border controls in neighboring France have also been reinforced in response to these disturbing developments.

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In videos posted online by an individual claiming affiliation with the Islamic State, the attacker took responsibility for the deadly incident, specifically mentioning the killing of Swedish individuals. The investigation into this tragic event is ongoing, and Brussels remains on edge as the hunt for the shooter continues.

Reference

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12985860/belgium-vs-sweden-euro-2024-qualifier

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-67129117

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