Belgium and Sweden game abandoned as two shot dead
Group F Euro 2024 qualifier game between Belgium and Sweden Euro 2024 abandoned at half-time after two people shot dead in Brussels before kick-off.
Reports said the pair were wearing Swedish football shirts; the two nations met at the King Baudouin Stadium on the outskirts of the city.
Swedish supporters react as they wait in the stands during the Euro 2024 Qualifier at the King Baudouin Stadium and the game was abandoned at half-time after two people were shot dead in Brussels before the game.
The score was 1-1 at half-time when the decision was taken to suspend the game and fans were told to remain in the King Baudouin Stadium “until security permits them to leave.”
UEFA then confirmed the match had been abandoned in a statement which read: “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.”
An announcement in Belgium’s national stadium had earlier said: “The players decided they do not want to continue the game because of what happened earlier today in Brussels.”
The Euro 2024 qualifier between Belgium and Sweden at the King Baudouin Stadium was abandoned at half-time
The Swedish players told UEFA that they did not want to play the second half and the Belgium team agreed, according to Swedish broadcaster TV6.
The shooting took place around three miles (5km) from the King Baudouin Stadium and the gunman is still on the loose.
Belgium’s National Crisis Centre raised the terror alert in the city to the highest level on Monday night. It has been moved to the second highest for the rest of Belgium.
Belgium’s prime minister Alexandre de Croo confirmed the two people shot dead on Monday evening were Swedish nationals.
Initial reports from Brussels said the pair were wearing Swedish football shirts with the shooting taking place before the nations met at the King Baudouin Stadium on the outskirts of the city.
De Croo wrote on X: “I have just offered my sincere condolences to SwedishPM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels. Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”
A post from the Swedish FA read: “Message to Swedish supporters on site in Brussels: The Belgian police want Swedish supporters to stay in the arena for security reasons.
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Take part in information from officials, authorities and SvFF (Swedish Football Association) staff on site. The statement was made in English, French, Dutch and Swedish and applauded by a crowd of over 35,000.
“We will return when the Belgian authorities provide us with new information. Keep calm and take care of each other. Our thoughts go out to all the relatives of those affected in Brussels.”