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Russian football chief: Terrorists now target world’s most popular sport of football

April 12, 17:23 UTC+3
"Football is the most popular sport and terrorists want to take advantage of it," President of the Russian Football Union Vitaly Mutko said
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A armored track of German police secure the stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter final, first leg soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, Germany

A armored track of German police secure the stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter final, first leg soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, Germany

© EPA/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Football as the most popular sport around the globe is now attracting terrorists, who are aiming to spoil matches with their heinous acts, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Wednesday in the wake of a bomb attack on Germany’s Dortmund FC.

Three explosive devices went off on Tuesday night near the bus carrying the Bundesliga squad as the vehicle was about to leave from the team hotel to Signal Iduna Park stadium for the Champions League’s first-leg quarterfinal encounter of Borussia Dortmund against Monaco FC.

Borussia Dortmund’s defender Marc Bartra was seriously injured in the chain of the blasts and had to undergo a surgery on his wrist, while the match was eventually cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday night.

"Terrorism has no borders," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with TASS. "Our (Russian) authorities keep saying that it turned into a common evil."

"We need to unite in order to fight it," Mutko said. "Football is the most popular sport and terrorists want to take advantage of it."

The German Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Tuesday that a series of blasts near the team bus of Borussia Dortmund FC on Tuesday night was now investigated as an act of terrorism.

"Germany is a developed country with one of the best security system in the world, but we all see what is going on," Mutko said. "However, it is impossible to put a policeman for escort to each of us."

"We need exchanging information about terrorists and hold preventive measures," the Russian deputy premier said. "This incident (in Dortmund) is a very scary issue, a tragedy."

Spain’s Bartra, 26, from Borussia Dortmund suffered a radial bone fracture to his right hand as well as numerous cuts in the blasts and was taken to the nearest hospital for an immediate surgery.

The rescheduled Borussia-Monaco match will be held tonight at 4:45 p.m. GMT (19:45 Moscow time).

Two more Champions League first-leg quarterfinals on Wednesday will be held in Munich between Bayern and Real Madrid, and in Madrid between Atletico and Leicester.

The European governing body of football UEFA announced on Wednesday that security measures would be tightened at all tonight’s quarterfinal matches of the Champions League following Tuesday’s blasts near Borussia Dortmund FC’s bus in Germany.

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