No, its not the German national soccer team, which, according to Merkel, is no longer “national”, but merely “The Team”.
Its Borussia Dortmund that has been hit by “serious explosive devices,”
The team bus after the attack
GERMAN SOCCER TEAM BUS HIT WITH EXPLOSIONS
A top German soccer team has been hit by explosions as it travelled in its team bus to a Champions League game.
Police say it is too early to say if it’s a terrorist attack, by which I guess they mean an Islamist one:
A series of explosions has hit team bus of high-profile German football team, Borussia Dortmund, injuring one of the players just before the team was due to play one of the big Champions League quarter-final first-leg ties.
Football officials quickly cancelled the game, which was due to take place in Dortmund, western Germany, and was against Monaco, and have tentatively rescheduled it for tomorrow.
Borussia defender Marc Bartra was slightly hurt with hand and arm injuries causing by shattered glass and was taken to hospital. Pictures of the bus show two large windows on the right hand side at the rear were shattered and two areas of scorch marks on the bitumen.
Police said in a statement they were working on the assumption that the blasts were caused by “serious explosive devices,” which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park.
Marc Bartra hurt in explosions near Dortmund team bus, game postponed
Three explosions rocked the Borussia Dortmund team bus as it was driving to their home stadium for Tuesday’s Champions League match, injuring defender Marc Bartra and causing the game to be postponed.
The German club later confirmed that Bartra had suffered a broken wrist and was undergoing surgery after windows were shattered in three explosions near the team bus.
UEFA said the match, a quarterfinal first leg against Monaco, had been postponed until Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. local time (12:45 p.m. ET).
A police statement said: “Initial findings make police believe that there was an attack with serious explosives. Those explosives might have been hidden in a hedge near a parking lot.”
Public prosecutor Sandra Lucke said a note claiming responsibility for the incident was found near the site of the explosions, which police were attempting to authenticate.
“The backgrounds [of the attack] are investigated thoroughly. The investigations are based on a suspicion of [attempted] homicide,” Lucke said. “A claim of responsibility was found near the crime scene. The authenticity is currently being attested. I can’t tell you more about the content because of ongoing investigations. We are investigating in all directions.”
Dortmund police president Gregor Lange added: “We have to believe that it was a targeted attack on the BVB squad.”
“The decision has been made to play this match tomorrow,” he continued. “We are preparing for a major police operation, and have already initiated safety measures for both teams. We will do our best that the match can go through safely tomorrow. But there can never be a 100 percent safety. We will do all we can to ensure it.”
Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said the team’s location after the incident was initially not being shared for security reasons.
He said: “The current situation seems to be this. When the team left the hotel and drove onto Wittbraucker Strasse apparently three explosives were hidden in a hedge, at least that’s what I hear from police sources, and somehow detonated.
“This naturally affected the team bus and Marc Bartra was injured on his hand and arm. He was treated on site and taken to hospital. It is nothing life-threatening or something like that.
“The team is totally shocked, that’s clear. Our job now is to cope with this somehow. We must play in under 24 hours. That’s our job.”
Fans had already begun to enter the stadium, and an announcement said the situation there was “safe” and that there was “no reason to panic.” They left the stadium without incident when the game was called off, and Monaco then conducted a training session on the pitch.
UEFA said in a statement the decision to postpone the game “was made after a meeting held at the Westfalenstadion between UEFA, representative of the two clubs and local authorities.”
“[Coach] Thomas [Tuchel] was shocked, one of the explosions happened on his side,” Watzke said. “The team is in shock. It will not be easy to get those pictures out of your head. We hope the team is somehow capable to be competitive again tomorrow.”
Dortmund told fans to retain their same tickets for Wednesday, and told travelling Monaco supporters to tweet “#bedforawayfans” if they needed to find lodging for the night. Monaco said all their fans staying in Dortmund for the night would be reimbursed up to €80 by the club.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said postponing the game was the right move “since we must always prioritise the safety and security of all fans, team officials and players.”
FIFA also issued a statement from president Gianni Infantino, saying: “The thoughts of every one of us at FIFA are with the people of Dortmund, and the fans of both Borussia Dortmund and Monaco following today’s troubling events.
“We are closely monitoring the condition of BVB’s Marc Bartra, and wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries. FIFA condemn the incidents in Dortmund. We are all awaiting further details of the incident.”
There have been a number of previous incidents involving football teams’ buses. In 2010, three people died when Angolan rebels attacked the Togo national team bus with machine guns on the Congolese border ahead of the African Nations Cup.
In 2015, a bus carrying Fenerbahce players was shot at on a highway in northern Turkey, injuring the driver, while later that year Hertha Berlin’s team bus was shot at ahead of a German Cup match in Bielefeld, with no reported injuries.
Last September, six armed men robbed a bus carrying Venezuelan first division club Trujillanos. No one was hurt.