Terrorism casts its shadow over football

Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco have played a day later the match that was cancelled after the attack on a bus carrying players of the German team. Three explosions severely damaged the bus on Tuesday evening. Investigators suspect a terrorist attack. Commentators praise the fans for their calm reaction and the players for their courage in defying terror.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Don't be intimidated

The players of Borussia Dortmund deserve respect for taking to the pitch again just one day after the attack, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

“This is the right response to those who - could it be just a coincidence - wanted to cause a bloodbath in Holy Week in Germany. Despite their inevitable vulnerability free and open societies must not submit to the attempts of terrorists of all stripes to intimidate them. The Dortmund attack will likely not be the last test Germany will face in this respect. The police, secret services and the legal system must be as well-equipped as possible and backed by the politicians. Nonetheless, not every attack will be averted. But with every attack that is averted and every attacker whose plans are foiled the confidence of the people will grow that their state is truly doing everything possible within the legal framework to guarantee their security.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Strong society weakens terrorists

The citizens of Dortmund have shown how we should react to terrorism, writes Helsingin Sanomat:

“There are many inconsistencies about the Dortmund attack and it is too soon to draw conclusions. The first reactions were interesting. They show that the citizens have ways to respond to the attacks. Once the decision was taken to postpone the game, the Borussia Dortmund fans opened their doors to AS Monaco fans. As was the case on Friday after the terrorist attack in Stockholm, society in Dortmund has also shown that it can defend itself. People helped each other and the police took action. All this weakens the impact of terrorism and makes it more difficult to spread fear.”

Právo (CZ) /

Restore order in Europe

The evidence of an Islamist background to the attack prompts Právo to speculate that Germany's refugee policy may also be to blame:

“Terrorism has seized on the most popular sport, which captivates millions of fans each week. A letter claiming responsibility for the attack said that sports people and other prominent Germans were 'on the death list of the Islamic State'. ... The connection with the uncontrollable wave of immigration is real. There are still hundreds of thousands of migrants who aren't even registered and about whose past nothing is known. Is it not finally time to restore order in Europe instead of endlessly dishing out old proposals like the one about binding distribution quotas? Politicians should put all their energy into that instead. But it's probably already too late for that.”

Die Presse (AT) /

The Games must go on

Ever since the attack at the Summer Olympics 1972 in Munich major sport events have been at risk, Die Presse comments and explains why they must nonetheless continue:

“From the point of view of the attackers, strikes on so-called soft targets have the added advantage of attracting even more attention by being broadcast live. Attacks in or outside a stadium, like that in 2015 in Paris during the match between France and Germany or during the 2013 Boston marathon, also have a broader impact, cutting through all sections of society. … The phrase 'The Games must go on', which sounded so crude back in 1972, continues to be the only valid guideline today. The price, however, is high: defence missiles, soldiers and machine guns have become fixed components of major sports events. But as long as the stadiums are full and safe, as long as fans refuse to be scared away, these efforts are not in vain.”