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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

Sweden vs Belgium Euro qualifier halted after gunman kills two Swedish nationals

The score was 1-1 at the time. Viktor Gyokeres gave Sweden a 15th-minute lead, but Romelu Lukaku had Belgium level just after the half-hour

Our Bureau And Agencies Brussels Published 18.10.23, 12:02 PM
Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku leaves King Baudouin Stadium after the Euro qualifier against Sweden was suspended in Brussels on Monday.

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku leaves King Baudouin Stadium after the Euro qualifier against Sweden was suspended in Brussels on Monday. Reuters

Sweden players were returning to their clubs on Tuesday after taking an overnight flight home from Brussels.

Their European Championship qualifier against Belgium was suspended at halftime because a gunman killed two Swedish nationals before kick-off.

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A decision was made to halt the match at half-time.

“Due to the incidents in Brussels earlier tonight, play is suspended. Our thoughts are with all those affected,” a post from the Belgian national team read on X, formerly known as Twitter.

European football’s governing body Uefa confirmed the Group F match had been called off following consultation with both teams and local police.

The score was 1-1 at the time. Viktor Gyokeres gave Sweden a 15th-minute lead, but Romelu Lukaku had Belgium level just after the half-hour.

Belgium had already qualified for Euro 2024 while Sweden’s chances of a top-two place had been ended by Austria’s victory earlier.

The Swedish squad went directly to the airport and flew back to Sweden once they were allowed to leave King Baudouin Stadium, which was locked down for two and a half hours for security reasons before officials began an evacuation process around midnight local time.

Swedish FA officials said information about the shooting incident, which also led to another Swedish national getting seriously injured and taken to hospital, reached them just before the match began and that Belgian authorities and police considered the game should be played because the stadium was viewed as the safest place for the Swedish fans.

AP/PTI

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