Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Security reviewed at all Champions Leagues games

The team bus was driving to a Champions League match against Monaco when the blast occurred.

Underlining the severity of the blast, prosecutors said a piece of metal shrapnel was lodged in the head-rest of a bus seat.

Borussia Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball said he was confident that the team would rise to the occasion for Wednesday's match despite the experience.

But a defiant Dortmund vowed not to "give in to terror", with players returning to the pitch for training.

European football's governing body, UEFA, said there had been no specific intelligence regarding any threat to any of Wednesday's Champions League fixtures, which also include a match in Spain between Atletico Madrid and England's Leicester City.

The spokeswoman for the Federal Prosecutors, who handle probes into suspected terrorism, said investigators had found three letters near the scene of the attack, all with the same content suggesting a possible Islamist motive.

The letter demanded withdrawal of the German Tornados from Syria as well as the closure of the United States air base at Ramstein in Germany.

Borussia Dortmund said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that public prosecutor Sandra Lucke had reported the "discovery of a letter", which was being "checked in detail for authenticity".

Two men with links to Germany's Islamist scene are at the heart of the investigation, with one in custody, after police found three copies of a letter near the scene of the explosion.

Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino said: "The thoughts of every one of us at Federation Internationale de Football Association are with the people of Dortmund, and the fans of both Borussia Dortmund and Monaco following today's troubling events".

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"We want to show that terror and hate will never dictate our actions".

Monaco fans were offered a place to stay for the night by Borussia Dortmund supporters on social media after the match was rearranged. The game was called off shortly before kickoff and rescheduled for Wednesday.

A series of explosions near the team hotel rocked Dortmund's bus as it prepared to take players and staff to the Westfalenstadion.

Spanish defender Marc Bartra, 26, suffered injuries to an arm and hand, the team said.

Police said they were working on the assumption that the blasts were directed at the Dortmund team and caused by "serious explosive devices", which may have been hidden in a hedge near a vehicle park. One person was injured.

"We did not know if more would come".

Two windows were broken and the shards hit Bartra, who underwent surgery during the night.

The scoreboard announces the postponement of the game prior to kick-off.

Merkel praised supporters for their "calm" behaviour and the host side for their hospitality, after some Dortmund fans took in stranded Monaco supporters for the night.

"I know they have to play it and they have to get it done, but it'll be a odd game to play in and hard for both sets of teams and the supporters too. You can imagine yourself whether they slept well or badly", he said.

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