Alan Brazil: UEFA’s order to play game staggered me

Team bus of the Borussia Dortmund football club damaged in an explosion (Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Team bus of the Borussia Dortmund football club damaged in an explosion (Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

I’M worried about where football is going – and the last week has done nothing to allay my fears.

The postponement of the Borussia Dortmund-Monaco Champions League game after explosions that injured a player was handled incredibly badly.

And it only increases my concern about next year’s World Cup Finals in Russia.

UEFA showed staggering insensitivity by making the players from Dortmund and Monaco play just 24 hours after an attack on the German side’s bus.

I’m afraid that FIFA are probably even worse when it comes to considering the safety of players and supporters.

In light of recent events, I can’t believe that Russia is being allowed to keep the World Cup.

It’s not too close to cancel it and take the tournament somewhere else.

Instead, we have them turning a blind eye to security issues because of money.

The Russian Football Federation stinks and we’ve had a government minister saying they should legalise fights between supporters –what a disgrace.

I’ve already said that I won’t be going.

The debacle in Dortmund was typical of the poor decision-making that so often surrounds football.

To make the players play again just 24 hours later – and to inform them by text message – was an absolute shocker.

UEFA rarely seem to think straight. If there’s money involved, then any shred of humanity seems to go flying out the window.

People could have been maimed, blinded or killed as a result of the explosion in Dortmund.

I’m sure the players and their families didn’t get a wink of sleep after the incident.

My first thoughts were for the players and supporters.

It was a terrifying night for the fans who were walking to and from the stadium.

Many people will be haunted by the experience forever and we can only be grateful there weren’t more injuries.

But we had a player hurt in a bomb blast. What on earth must his family have been thinking when the authorities’ main priority was to re-arrange the fixture.

Football is an important part of many people’s lives, but safety and human emotions must always take top priority.

It’s often easy for those of us who work in the game to get caught up in the bubble that surrounds sport.

Incidents like these are a sharp reminder that real life exists outside of football.

I suggested the teams could have played a one-off game at a neutral venue this week.

Maybe that wasn’t ideal but surely better than the mess UEFA created.

There was one little chink of light during a dark week for football.

Dortmund fans opened their homes to Monaco supporters who found themselves stranded in the German city.

Many said it was completely natural to offer their sofa or spare bed to someone with nowhere to spend the night.

It was heart-warming to see people realise that occasionally there’s something more important than rivalry.

Things would be a lot better if the wealthy bureaucrats running our game had just a little of that compassion.

Cancel