Belgium re-arrange friendly game after attacks | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.03.2016
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Belgium re-arrange friendly game after attacks

Belgium's friendly match with Portugal, originally scheduled to be played in Brussels on March 29, has been moved to the Portuguese city of Leiria following the attacks on the Belgian capital.

The game was due to be played at the King Baudouin Stadium and earlier appeared to have been cancelled but is now back on.

The Belgian football federation (KBVB) said in a statement it "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 (1945 GMT)."

National team coach Marc Wilmots canceled a training session at the stadium in Brussels onTuesday following the attacks in a Brussels airport and metro station.

The re-arranged fixture follows the cancelation of the Belgian national side's last scheduled international against Spain on November 17. That game, also due to be played in Brussels, was abandoned after the terror attacks in Paris.

Also called off on that evening was a friendly between Germany and the Netherlands in Hanover. Germany were playing a friendly against France in the Stade de France on November 13 when the Paris attacks occurred. Large explosions were audible inside the stadium during the match.

There may now be some concerns about the safety of Germany's international friendly against England in Berlin on Saturday and, looking further ahead, Euro 2016 in France this summer.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff admitted the attacks in Belgium do raise some concerns over safety at the tournament.

"For us as managers it is important that we do the best to ensure security at the tournament," he said. "It is currently not an easy time and it was not an easy time then (in Paris.)"

mp/dv (AP)

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