Football match between Belgium and Sweden abandoned after deadly shooting in Brussels
BRUSSELS (AP) — A football match between host Belgium and Sweden was abandoned at halftime Monday after two Swedes were killed in a shooting in central Brussels before kickoff.
Fans remained inside the King Baudouin stadium after the European Championship qualifier was stopped and chanted “All together, All together!”
The match was being played around 3 miles (5 kilometres) away from the shooting. The teams were tied 1-1 at halftime.
Belgium’s crisis centre raised the level of threat in Brussels and its region to the maximum and asked citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.
The Swedish FA said in a message to Swedish supporters on site that the Belgian police wanted supporters to stay in the arena for security reasons.
“Keep calm and take care of each other,” the FA said. “Our thoughts go out to all the relatives of those affected in Brussels.”
It was not immediately clear if the shooting was linked to terrorism, or to the Israel-Hamas war.
A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters, said the two victims were Swedes.
“It’s awful the news that has reached us. We have all been affected and we are trying to deal with it, both team and supporters,” said Martin Fredman, the security chief of the Swedish Football Association, speaking to Swedish TV at halftime.