Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel slams UEFA over rescheduled Monaco game
DORTMUND, Germany -- Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has hit out at UEFA after the team's game against Monaco, which was postponed following three explosions that hit the Dortmund team bus on Tuesday night, was rescheduled 24 hours later.
Two people were injured (including Dortmund defender Marc Bartra) after windows on the bus were shattered by the explosions as the bus drove to their stadium for a Champions League quarterfinal, causing the game to be postponed until Wednesday.
Dortmund lost 3-2 to Monaco after a double from Kylian Mbappe, but Tuchel said after the match that he was angry his side had not been given more time to recover.
"We were never asked; we were informed by a text message that the UEFA made a decision in Switzerland. It felt lousy. And that sticks with us," he said at a news conference.
"Minutes after the attacks, the only question was whether the game could go through or not. We were treated as if a beer can was thrown at the bus. It gives you a feeling of impotence.
"It will stick with us that we have to function and that everything else plays no role. We are outside of the bus, Marc [Bartra] gets driven away in an ambulance, and we are informed about the decision. It does not feel good."
Tuchel then explained how Dortmund had taken the decision over who would play in the game.
"We left it open to every player if he wants to play," he added. "We realised this morning that training is a distraction. Every player, every human, and this attack was on us as humans, can be scared stiff by this. But all of them wanted to play.
"We would have wanted to have more time to digest all of this. We did not get this time. We have to live with the fact that the match was scheduled. It's about our dream, our big dream, and the squad did not have the feeling they could make the difference in the small situations.
"Later in the afternoon, we encouraged the players to go into the match."
However, Tuchel admitted that he couldn't even field a full squad.
"We weren't even able to fill up our squad; all of our youth players from the B-list were injured as well," he said. "It's not done by playing the match. The match itself was a distraction from coping with the events. We just had too little time.
"Every one of us has to cope with the incident by himself. The thoughts will continue to circle around the events. Time helps. But ask me prior to the match next week if we are ready. There's no recipe for this."
Later, UEFA released a statement insisting that the decision to postpone the game until Wednesday was taken with the full cooperation of both clubs.
Breaking: New UEFA statement in reaction to Thomas Tuchel's comments that Dortmund were "ignored" over decision to play. pic.twitter.com/BwjFWk6veU- Richard Conway (@richard_conway) April 12, 2017
"It's hard to talk about it," he said. "It's hard to find the right words. I get goose bumps ... when you were in the bus last night... I can't forget the faces. I will never forget these faces in my life for sure."
Two suspects from the "Islamist spectrum" are currently at the centre of the investigation after a letter was found at the scene. One person was detained.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.