Tuchel and Sokratis slam UEFA’s “absurd” response to Dortmund situation

Tuchel and Sokratis slam UEFA’s “absurd” response to Dortmund situation

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Shaken Borussia Dortmund staff and players do not feel as though UEFA’s rescheduling of their Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against AS Monaco showed them respect.

Tuesday’s match was forced back to Wednesday after a trio of deliberate roadside blasts struck Dortmund’s team bus on the way to the match at the Westfalenstadion on Tuesday.

Defender Marc Bartra was the only person injured the incident, and he has since undergone successful surgery to remove fragments of debris from his arm and wrist.

A person has been arrested in connection with the incident, while on the field, Dortmund lost their home leg 3-2 against the principality club.

Manager Thomas Tuchel believes UEFA’s decision to play the game so soon after the blasts was “absurd”.

He praised the resilience of his players to take the field.

“The situation is absurd. We only had 15 players available in the squad,” Tuchel said after the game.

“We would have wanted to have more time to digest all of this. We did not get this time. We have to live with the fact that the match was scheduled.

“It’s about our dream, our big dream, and the squad did not have the feeling they could make the difference in the small situations.

“Later in the afternoon (after the explosions), we encouraged the players to go into the match.

“Minutes after the attacks the only question was whether the game could go through or not. We were treated as if a beer can was thrown at the bus.

“It gives you a feeling of impotence.

“This was about being brave and we showed we are brave. This is not forgotten and this is not dealt with.”

Meanwhile, Dortmund’s Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos echoed his manager, telling ESPN FC after the game that European football’s governing body made him feel “like an animal”.

“After yesterday I don’t have any more space to think about the game,” Sokratis is quoted as saying.

“They (UEFA) have to understand that we are not animals. We are people who have families, who have kids in the house.

“And we are not animals. I am happy that all the players are alive, and all the staff are alive.

“It is very difficult today to think to go and play football. For everybody, it is very difficult to go to work after yesterday.”

Dortmund and Monaco fans alike responded to the distressing situation with a show of solidarity.

Local supporters launched the social media campaign #bedforawayfans to accomodate visiting Monacans, opening their homes.

The second leg of the tie will be played at Stade Louis II next week.

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