Tuesday, October 17, 2017

UEFA denies Dortmund and Monaco did not want to play

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 13 Apr 2017

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UEFA has responded to criticism over the rescheduling of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League match against Monaco, insisting it never received information suggesting the teams did not want to play.

The first leg of the quarter-final was postponed on Tuesday after Dortmund’s team bus was caught up in an apparently targeted attack using explosives when departing the team hotel for Signal Iduna Park, with Marc Bartra having to undergo surgery on a fractured wrist as a result of the blast.

The fixture was consequently pushed back to Wednesday, but coach Thomas Tuchel wanted more time for those affected to take stock of the incident and branded the rescheduling “absurd”.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos suggested he felt Dortmund players had been treated like “animals”, while Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim admitted it was difficult for the players to concentrate as his side secured a 3-2 victory.

In response to the outpouring of criticism of UEFA’s handling of the matter, the governing body affirmed both clubs were involved in the decision-making process and did not imply they would be unwilling to participate.

A UEFA spokesperson said: “The decision to play the UEFA Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco FC on Wednesday at 18.45CET was made on Tuesday night at the BvB Stadion Dortmund in cooperation and complete agreement with clubs and authorities. 

“UEFA was in touch with all parties on Wednesday and never received any information which suggested that any of the teams did not want to play.”

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