05272017

‘Football is not the most important thing’ – Dortmund’s rescheduling wishes ‘ignored’

Dortmund fans

Some Dortmund fans protested against the rescheduling of their game against Monaco

Borussia Dortmund felt “completely ignored” over the rescheduling of their Champions League game against Monaco, says manager Thomas Tuchel.

Dortmund lost 3-2 in the first leg of the quarter-final on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after an attack on their bus caused the match to be postponed.

“We were told by text message that Uefa was making this decision,” said Tuchel.

“A decision made in Switzerland that concerns us directly. We will not forget it, it is a very bad feeling.”

Three explosions hit Dortmund’s team bus as they travelled to their Westfalenstadion home on Tuesday, with the match rescheduled later that evening.

“Uefa is eager to continue playing,” added Tuchel. “Of course we have to keep it going, but we still want to be competitive. We do not want to use the situation as an excuse.

“We wished we would have had more time to deal with what happened, but someone in Switzerland decided we must play.”

Spain defender Marc Bartra suffered a broken wrist and has subsequently had surgery, but no other players were hurt.

“Every player has the right to deal with it in his way. The team did not feel in the mood, in which you must be for such a game,” said Tuchel.

“We let the players choose if they wanted to play. But this morning, we found that the training had done good, that it had made us think of something else.”

Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel<!–

Tuchel says the Dortmund players had the choice of whether to play or not

German police have described it as a targeted attack and detained a suspect with “Islamist” links.

“We were attacked as men and we tried to solve the problem on the ground,” said Tuchel, who has been in charge of the Bundesliga side since 2015.

“Everyone has their own way of reacting to events. The players had the choice not to play, but no-one chose this option.”

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How Borussia Dortmund showed their class

Dortmund were 2-0 and 3-1 down to French side Monaco, for whom 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe scored twice.

“The team has shown an incredible character,” added Tuchel. “We have won the second half, the spirit in the second half was great.”

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim had some sympathy with Tuchel’s view, but said the packed fixture calendar contributed to the hasty rescheduling.

“Maybe it should not be played today, but the calendar gave few options to be able to play the match,” he said.

“We produced a good result but it’s only half-time of the quarter-final.”

Speaking before Tuchel made his comments, Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti said: “The schedule of these clubs is completely full and the next round of the Champions League will take place in early May.

“Now this doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. All decisions were made in full agreement with the two clubs.

“I guess that this was done in full conscience and knowledge of the situation and also knowing that a different option would be quite difficult.”

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