UEFA put their schedule ahead of Dortmund’s well-being after bus attack
Despite football fans pinning the blame on UEFA for a number of things wrong about football, Europe’s governing body do a lot of good for the game that often goes unnoticed.
From fighting against discrimination to reaching out to disabled players and being involved with social responsibility initiatives at all levels. There’s a lot that UEFA do right.
The decision to postpone Tuesday’s Quarter Final Champions League meeting between Dortmund and Monaco for 23 hours wasn’t one of them.
Just hours before the game’s original start time of 7.45pm GMT the Dortmund team bus was attacked by a number of pre-planned explosives. Three of which went off as the bus made its journey to the Signal Iduna Park. The home of Borussia Dortmund.
The team was the target of an individual who attempted to either kill or at the very least maim a number of Dortmund’s players. Thankfully, no serious injuries or fatalities occurred, but Dortmund centre-back Marc Bartra injured his hand and required surgery that night.
It was a horrific event and one that hopefully won’t be repeated, but despite everything, UEFA announced that the game would be replayed the next day at the slightly earlier time of 5.45pm GMT. Less than 24 hours after the tragedy that caused shock through the entire institution of Borussia Dortmund.
After the replayed match, Dortmund’s head coach Thomas Tuchel said he felt that UEFA “completely ignored” the club’s feelings on the matter.
“We were told by text message that Uefa was making this decision,” said Tuchel.
Why did UEFA not open extended dialogue with Dortmund and Monaco and take into account the actions that had occurred, the ramifications that it would have had on not just the match itself but also the feelings and emotions of players, fans and their families?
Despite the money they earn and the lavish lifestyle the top players lead, we as fans and onlookers often forget that players are human.
In an emotional post-game interview, Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin expressed his feelings, saying “We love football. We suffer with football. I know we earn a lot of money, we live a privileged life, but we are human beings and there is so much more than football and last night, we felt it.”
“I can’t forget the faces. I will never forget the faces in my life, for sure. When I saw Marc [Bartra] there and I sit next to Schmelzer and I will never forget Schmelzer’s face and it was unbelievable.”
You have to wonder why UEFA couldn’t have postponed the game for a week or two in light of what had happened. Sure, it would have caused a minor headache in rearranging and organising the remaining Champions League fixtures, but common sense and people’s welfare should always prevail.
On Wednesday night, just hours after being targeting by bombs, the Dortmund players walked onto the pitch not knowing if or when they might be targeted next. A position that they should never have been forced to be in.