Dortmund bus bomb suspect in custody
German authorities arrested a suspected Islamic extremist Wednesday in their investigation into a bomb attack on a top German soccer team, while the team — missing a defender wounded in the blasts — lost 3-2 to Monaco in a hastily rescheduled Champions League match.
Amid heightened security, the defeat for Borussia Dortmund in Europe’s top club competition came less than 24 hours after three explosions shattered a window of the team’s bus and rattled nerves across the gritty city in western Germany.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said after the loss that he felt European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, had not taken the attack seriously enough as it swiftly rescheduled the match.
“We weren’t asked at all at any time,” Tuchel said. “Basically, we had the feeling that we were being treated as if a beer can had hit our bus, and half an hour later the decision was there that (it would be) tomorrow at 6.45 p.m.. That gives you a feeling of powerlessness.”
Armed police officers in body armour patrolled the streets around Dortmund’s stadium Wednesday night as locals and visiting fans mingled in a subdued atmosphere. Fans were banned from bringing backpacks to the match and some were frisked — with security officials even checking under their hats.
Earlier in the day, Frauke Koehler, a spokeswoman for German federal prosecutors, said investigators are focusing on two suspected Islamic extremists in the bus attack and searched their homes, arresting one of them.
As the investigation continued, the match delayed by the blasts got underway. Dortmund was without Spanish central defender Marc Bartra, who underwent surgery for injuries to his wrist and arm after the three devices packed with metal pins detonated close to the team bus Tuesday night. Clearly missing Bartra in defence and possibly still shocked by the attack on their bus, Dortmund conceded two goals in the first 35 minutes.
The team fought back after the break, to make it 2-1 in the 57th minute before Kylian Mbappe scored his second in the 79th minute for Monaco. Shinji Kagawa cut the deficit in the 84th minute, but it was not enough to save Dortmund from defeat.
“It was difficult for the team to focus on the game,” Dortmund coach Tuchel said.
The defender was injured after bombs exploded near the Dortmund team bus Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund fans chanted Marc Bartra’s name during the game.