LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) The Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 qualifier was halted at halftime following a fatal shooting in Brussels before the match.
UEFA confirmed the abandonment due to a “suspected terrorist attack.”
Belgium raised its terror alert to the highest level, and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called it a “brutal terrorist attack.”
Three individuals had left for what was supposed to be a joyous soccer event, but the perpetrator specifically targeted Swedish supporters in Brussels for the Red Devils match.
Two Swedish citizens lost their lives, and a third person is recovering from severe injuries, according to De Croo.
An individual claiming affiliation with the Islamic State posted an online video claiming responsibility.
The shooting occurred 45 minutes before kick-off and approximately 3 miles from the stadium.
It is uncertain whether the victims were in Brussels for the game, although reports suggest they were wearing Swedish football jerseys.
The score was 1-1 at halftime when the match was halted, and fans were instructed to remain in the King Baudouin Stadium “until security permits them to leave.”
The spectators chanted “All together, All together,” with thousands from both teams shouting “Sweden, Sweden!” while they waited inside Belgium’s national stadium.
The 35,000 supporters were eventually allowed to leave in groups after midnight local time, but the gunman remains at large.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson confirmed that they were informed about the incident at halftime and decided not to proceed with the match.
Victor Lindelof, a defender for Manchester United and Sweden, stated, “The most important thing is that the supporters are safe now.”
A statement from the Swedish FA on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) reads, “Keep calm and take care of each other. Our thoughts go out to all the relatives of those affected in Brussels.”
The Belgian national FA also expressed, “Our thoughts are with all those affected.“