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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Belgium's friendly with Portugal moved from Brussels after attacks

Belgium have announced that next week's friendly against Portugal in Brussels has been relocated to Leiria following Tuesday's deadly explosions.

Belgium were due to host Portugal at Brussels' King Baudouin Stadium next Tuesday, March 29, but city authorities asked the Belgian FA (KBVB) to call off the match following the bomb attacks.

The KBVB had initially said on Wednesday morning that the game would not take place but later announced that an agreement had been reached to play the game in Portugal.

The new statement on the KBVB's official website read: "Given the dramatic events of yesterday, in these difficult times to allow mass events to take place safely and given the terror level 4 at national level, the game against Portugal will not take place in Brussels next Tuesday. This was decided today in coordination with the authorities and the Portuguese Football Federation.

"The board of directors of the Belgian FA has, in agreement with the national coach and coaching staff, decided to accept the proposal of the Portuguese Football Federation to play this match in Leiria, on the same day and at the same time, Tuesday, March 29 at 20:45 (Belgian time).

"The Belgian FA appreciates the availability, flexibility and solutions offered by the Portuguese Federation.

"The FPF expresses its full solidarity with the Belgian FA in this tough and emotional period."

Belgium, who did not train on Tuesday after the attacks, had also announced that Wednesday's session would be cancelled.

However, the statement added: "This afternoon, our Belgian Red Devils will train behind closed doors at the King Baudouin Stadium (16:30). This training session will not be open to the supporters and the press."

It means Belgium avoid a second successive friendly cancellation after their scheduled clash with Spain in Brussels was called off in November following the Paris atrocities.

A series of coordinated attacks in the French capital that had been planned in Brussels killed 130 people and saw the terror threat level in the Belgian capital raised to its maximum.

UEFA's executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete has said the governing body cannot rule out the prospect of Euro 2016 matches being played behind closed doors if there are sufficient concerns over terrorism in France this summer.

The Stade de France was targeted by suicide bombers during the Paris attacks and France's Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, this week re-emphasised the importance of high security at the tournament.

UEFA said in a statement on Wednesday: "We are confident that all security measures will be in place for a safe and festive Euro and therefore there are no plans to play matches behind closed doors.

"However, we are nevertheless working on contingency plans and on multiple scenarios around crisis situations since we take the security of all participants (players, fans, etc) very seriously."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stressed on Wednesday that Euro 2016 should not be postponed.

"No, that would be a defeat -- it would be to give a victory to the terrorists," he told Europe 1 radio station. "The big sporting events, the big cultural events, the big popular events are vital to show that we are a free people, on our feet, that we are not afraid.

"So, yes, Euro 2016, like the Tour de France and other big events, will take place."

He reaffirmed that every step possible would be taken to try to guarantee that the tournament will be played out in the best conditions possible.

"All the resources will be deployed -- public, discreet, intelligence -- to ensure safety, but there is not zero risk when faced with people who are determined to die," he said. "Life is the best of responses in the face of ideology of death."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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