Abandon Euro 2024 Qualifier in Brussels After Tragic Shooting Incident
A tragic shooting incident unfolded in Brussels before the Euro 2024 qualifier match between Belgium and Sweden, leading to the abrupt abandonment of the game at half-time. UEFA confirmed the match’s abandonment, categorizing the incident as a “suspected terrorist attack.”
In response to the situation, Belgian authorities elevated the terror alert to its highest level in the capital. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo described the incident as a “brutal terrorist attack.”
De Croo expressed sorrow, stating, “Last night, three individuals set out for what was meant to be an enjoyable soccer event.” He revealed that the perpetrator had specifically targeted Swedish supporters who had gathered in Brussels for the Red Devils soccer match. Regrettably, two Swedish compatriots lost their lives, while a third individual is currently recuperating from severe injuries.
The shooting incident occurred approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off and took place around three miles (5km) from the stadium. Although it remains uncertain whether the victims were present to watch the game, reports indicated that they were wearing Swedish football shirts.
At half-time, with the score tied at 1-1, the match was suspended, and fans received instructions to remain inside the King Baudouin Stadium “until security allows their safe exit.”
Amidst the tension, fans united in chants of “All together, All together,” with thousands from both sides vocally expressing support for Sweden. Finally, the 35,000 supporters were allowed to depart in groups just past midnight local time. Unfortunately, the perpetrator responsible for the attack remains at large.
Sweden’s coach, Janne Andersson, confirmed that they were informed of the incident during half-time and made the unanimous decision to discontinue the match. He expressed, “Everyone was deeply saddened, and all the players unanimously decided not to proceed with the game.”