Stade de Reims manager Will Still was in attendance at Belgium’s match against Sweden at the Roi-Baudoiun stadium, which was abandoned due to a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels on Monday night.
Still was one of 35,000 fans held in the stadium amid the evolving and dangerous situation. Abdesalem Lassoued killed two Swedes in an automatic rifle attack just three miles away from the stadium. The attacker thought to be of Tunisian origin, was shot dead by Belgian police later that evening.
These events caused the suspension, and then abandonment of Belgium’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Sweden. Despite the ongoing situation, the first half of the match was played. Upon hearing about the attack, which took place within close proximity of the stadium, at half-time, both sets of players decided that they didn’t wish to return to the field to play the second half.
Despite the game’s abandonment, fans were kept in the stadium for over two hours for their safety. Amongst them was Still, who gave a first-hand account of events in the stadium to RMC Sport. “The feeling inside the stadium? For now, it’s pretty calm. Everyone has remained silent during the announcements when the match was stopped. There are supporters chanting, but it’s all a bit vague,” said the Belgian-born Englishman.
The Reims manager then spoke to BFMTV when it was announced that fans were authorised to leave the stadium. “Everyone has been allowed to leave the stadium. I am patiently waiting to be allowed to leave. It’s pretty calm. There isn’t really any panic or anything like that. It was a bit tense and calm at the start, but it’s okay now. The communication was pretty clear that we should stay in the stands. It was a bit long, but it was okay,” said Still.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle