Belgium-Sweden Euro qualifier abandoned after killings

AFP , Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

The Euro 2024 qualifier between Belgium and Sweden was abandoned at half-time on Monday after a "terrorist attack" in Brussels left two Swedish nationals dead, officials said.

Belgium s forward Romelu Lukaku kicks the ball next to Sweden s defender Filip Helander (R) during the Euro 2024 qualifying football match between Belgium and Sweden at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on October 16, 2023. AFP


Journalists in the Roi Baudouin stadium in the Belgian capital said fans were being kept in the ground, and the UEFA website said the match had been halted with the score at 1-1.

Sweden's football association said Belgian police had told supporters "to stay in the arena for security reasons".

"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," UEFA said on its website.

The Belgian national side posted on its social media accounts that "due to the incidents in Brussels earlier tonight, play is suspended. Our thoughts are with all those affected."

Earlier, two people were killed in a shooting in Brussels and prosecutors said the suspected gunman was on the run. Prime Minster Alexander de Croo said the victims were Swedes.

De Croo offered his condolences to Sweden's premier and pledged to fight together against "terrorism".

Anti-terrorism police have been assigned to the investigation, amid global tension after last week's bloody Hamas attack on Israel and the military response.

Before the suspension, Sweden had scored through forward Viktor Gyokeres, but the home side had equalised through Romelu Lukaku in the 31st minute.

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