Belgium and Portugal will still take part in their previously cancelled friendly after the two Football Associations agreed to relocate the match to Leiria in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels.
The Belgian capital was attacked on Tuesday morning, with two explosions at Brussels airport and a third on the Metro claiming the lives of 34 people and injuring at least 200 more.
The team’s scheduled training session was cancelled as a result, with numerous squad members, most notably Vincent Kompany, paying their respects via social media.
Portugal – België op 29/03 in Leiria http://bit.ly/1VEaWkpPortugal – Belgique le 29/03 à Leiria http://bit.ly/1S5TeRhPortugal – Belgium : 29/03 in Leiria http://bit.ly/22F524e #porbel
The Red Devils were due to play Portugal at the King Baudouin Stadium in north-west Brussels next week, but initially cancelled the match on the advice of police, and have now agreed to move the fixture instead.
A statement 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.
“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 is the second successive international friendly Belgium have had to cancel, with November’s match against Spain also called off in the wake of the terror attacks on Paris.
Belgium skipper Kompany, who had remained in England due to injury, addressed his compatriots on Twitter on Tuesday and condemned the attacks.
He said: “Horrified and revolted. Innocent people paying the price again. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. I wish for Brussels to act with dignity. We are all hurting, yet we must reject hate and its preachers. As hard as it may be.”
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