NYON: The deaths of more than 30 people and injuries to over 200 in two terrorists attacks in Brussels prompted expressions of condolence and concern from across the world including from the European football family.
European governing body UEFA also expressed assurances about security preparations for the finals of the European Championship which take place in neighbouring France in June and July.
The French capital of Paris was the subject of attack last November when 130 people died in three separate, simultaneous outrages.
Following today’s events in Brussels, UEFA wishes to reaffirm its commitment in placing safety and security at the centre of its organisational plans for UEFA Euro 2016.
Euro 2016 SAS and all stakeholders involved in the organisation of the tournament will continue their joint work and will regularly monitor the level of risk for the tournament and their respective organisational plans.
For more than three years now, Euro 2016 SAS has been working closely with the relevant authorities to develop the most appropriate mechanisms in order to guarantee a safe and secure tournament and all necessary measures are being taken to ensure that is the case for all involved.
Belgium’s national team are considered one of the favourites to win Euro 2016. They are due to play Portugal in a warm-up friendly next week but this may now be cancelled, just like a game against Spain which had been scheduled shortly after the Paris attacks.
Belgium’s three Group E matches at Euro 2016 are against Italy in Lyon, the Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux and Sweden in Nice.
National captain Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City defender, said he was “horrified and revolted” by the Brussels attacks. The squad cancelled a training session on Tuesday to show respect to the victims.
A statement of condemnation came from Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
He said: “The IOC strongly condemns these cowardly terrorist attacks and our deep sympathies are with all the victims and their families and friends. Such odious attacks are directed against all human and Olympic values.
“We stand side by side with the Belgian and European people. These and other terrorist acts in different countries show that the Olympic values of understanding, respect and peace are now more important than ever for our world.”