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Security chief: Going ahead with Dortmund game was right decision

The director general of the International Centre for Sport Security, Helmut Spahn, has said it was right to go ahead with Borussia Dortmund's Champions League game against Monaco on Wednesday.

The Office of the Attorney General of Germany is investigating after three explosions rocked the Dortmund bus as it drove to their home stadium for the match on Tuesday.

The blasts injured defender Marc Bartra, and officials postponed the game by 24 hours.

Both before and after the 3-2 loss to Monaco, BVB coach Thomas Tuchel criticised the UEFA decision to go ahead so soon, saying: "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."

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But speaking to German paper FAZ, Spahn, who will take over as FIFA head of security on May 2, defended UEFA's decision to play the game.

"If we give in, we do exactly what these criminals want," he said but added: "If there had been fatalities, of course no match would have been held."

Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos said he felt he had been treated like an animal.

"It is very difficult today to think to go and play football," he said. "For everybody, it is very difficult to go to work after yesterday."

In an interview with Bild, German Minister of the Interior Thomas De Maiziere also defended the decision to go ahead with the match.

"We should not make the mistake of being intimidated by terror," he said.

"The terrorists would have won. As a sign of solidarity, I followed the BVB match inside the stadium."

A leading sports psychologist, meanwhile, has suggested it was "a step too far" to expect Dortmund's players to perform so soon.

While Michael Caulfield, director of Sporting Edge, praised the players for being "resolute," he also believes it was "a huge ask" for them to perform at their peak.

He told Press Association Sport: "I can see why there was a desire to get it going so soon and they would have asked 'Can we carry on as normal?'

"Footballers and clubs go right down to the last minute in terms of preparation. I doubt they would have had any preparation or rest and to suddenly expect them to perform would have been a step too far. It was a huge ask.

"An attack on their team coach, that would have an impact -- it would -- but footballers are resolute characters. It is often the families that worry more."

Earlier on Thursday, the federal prosecutor's office in Germany said there was no evidence to link a suspect with an Islamist background to the explosions.

North-Rhine Westphalia's minister of the interior Ralf Jager told a home affairs select committee session that the possibility the attack was carried out by football hooligans could not be ruled out.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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