A football match between Sweden and Belgium was interrupted due to a terrorist attack: a fanatic shot fans with a machine gun.

The crim­i­nal com­mit­ted mur­der and iden­ti­fied him­self with a banned orga­ni­za­tion, declar­ing that he was tak­ing revenge for the oppres­sion of Mus­lims.

The group stage match of the 2024 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment between the nation­al teams of Bel­gium and Swe­den took place on the evening of Octo­ber 16 in Brus­sels. After the first half, the score was a draw: the Swedes were the first to take the lead, but the hosts came back — Romelu Lukaku scored from the penal­ty spot.

The play­ers did not come out for the sec­ond half because of the ter­ror­ist attack that occurred in the city. UEFA stat­ed that the match has been can­celled, and there is no talk of a replay yet.

What happened in Brussels?

At about sev­en o’clock in the evening, a man in orange work clothes rode a moped into the cen­ter of Brus­sels and, shout­ing “Allahu Akbar”, opened fire on passers-by (pre­sum­ably from a Kalash­nikov assault rifle). This hap­pened 5 km from the sta­di­um, where a foot­ball match began at 20:45.

The vic­tims were two fans of the Swedish nation­al team who died, and anoth­er per­son was injured. The video went viral on social net­works.

Lat­er, the man pub­lished a video in which he said that he belongs to the ter­ror­ist group “Islam­ic State” (a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion banned in Rus­sia). The crim­i­nal cit­ed Israeli war crimes as the cause of the attack, as well as the mur­der of a 6‑year-old Pales­tin­ian in the Unit­ed States. He stat­ed that he intend­ed kill the “infi­dels” fur­ther and ready to die.

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It was report­ed that the ter­ror­ist could be a 45-year-old native of Tunisia, who has long been on the radar of Bel­gian intel­li­gence ser­vices due to his rad­i­cal­ism. His house in the Brus­sels com­mune of Skar­bek had already been searched, and in the morn­ing killed dur­ing arrest.

How did they react to the terrorist attack at the stadium?

The play­ers learned about what hap­pened dur­ing the break of the match, and the Swedish nation­al team play­ers refused to come out for the sec­ond half. Team cap­tain, defend­er Vic­tor Lin­de­lof, reached an agree­ment with the oppos­ing team, and they did not fin­ish the match:

“We can’t play foot­ball in this con­di­tion. We reached an agree­ment with Bel­gium. I found out about what hap­pened dur­ing the break when I went down to the lock­er room — we can­not fin­ish the match, this is the deci­sion of all the play­ers and man­agers.

This is dis­gust­ing and makes me very sad. This is extreme­ly trag­ic and my thoughts go out to the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies. What kind of world do we live in? What the hell world are we liv­ing in?”

Many spec­ta­tors did not know about the ter­ror­ist attack and were sur­prised why the sec­ond half did not start. When the inci­dent was announced at the sta­di­um, pan­ic began. Fans were not allowed into the city for sev­er­al hours, because the lev­el of ter­ror­ist threat in Brus­sels was raised to a high fourth lev­el.

The evac­u­a­tion of spec­ta­tors began around mid­night, approx­i­mate­ly two hours after the match was stopped. The attack was con­demned by many world lead­ers, includ­ing French Pres­i­dent Emmanuel Macron, who called the attack cow­ard­ly:

“Our Europe is shocked by a new Islamist ter­ror­ist attack in Brus­sels. I have just spo­ken to the Prime Min­is­ter of Bel­gium, Alexan­dre de Cros, to express the sol­i­dar­i­ty of the French peo­ple in this ter­ri­ble moment that Brus­sels is expe­ri­enc­ing.

We think of the vic­tims of this cow­ard­ly attack, as well as our Bel­gian and Swedish friends, and share their shock.”