The Euro 2024 qualifier between Belgium and Sweden declared abandoned at half-time will not be replayed, with a 1-1 result confirmed as final.
A man suspected of shooting two Swedish people dead before Monday’s match in Brussels died on Wednesday. This was after he was shot and arrested by Police in a cafe in Brussels.
The match was abandoned at half-time by UEFA after the incident which is being described by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo as a “brutal terrorist attack”.
The two people killed were Swedish – and a third person was wounded in the attack.
UEFA said in a statement: “With regard to the European Qualifier match between Belgium and Sweden abandoned at half-time upon request and agreement of the two teams, following the terrorist attack that killed two Swedish supporters in Brussels on October 16, the UEFA Executive Committee decided today [Thursday] that the match is abandoned and the result at the half-time interval (1-1) is confirmed as final.”
A police officer stands guard outside the King Baudouin Stadium
The statement added: “Each team is awarded one point with the Group F standings to be updated accordingly.
“Any suspension is considered served and single yellow cards remain valid. To take the mentioned decision, the Executive Committee took note that it had proved impossible to play the remaining part of the match on the following day.
“Both the Royal Belgian Football Association and the Swedish Football Association, given the circumstances, explicitly expressed their desire not to play the remaining match time and to consider the result at the half-time interval (1-1) as final.”
Fans were kept inside the King Baudouin Stadium until just after midnight local time
The result does not impact the qualification of Group F as Belgium are already qualified for Euro 2024 – together with Austria – while Sweden are mathematically eliminated.
The fixture schedule does not allow any date to be used in the upcoming November international window, when the preliminary group stage of the competition must be concluded, to be followed by the play-off draw and final tournament draw.
A map showing the location of the shooting and the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels
After the incident, Belgian authorities raised the terror alert to its highest level in the capital.
The score was 1-1 at half-time when the game was suspended and fans were told to remain in the King Baudouin Stadium “until security permits them to leave”.
Swedish fans after learning that the game has been abandoned due to a terrorist attack
Fans chanted “All together, All together,” with thousands from both sides also shouting “Sweden, Sweden!” as they waited inside Belgium’s national stadium. The 35,000 supporters were eventually allowed to leave in groups just after midnight local time.
A shooting in Brussels led to Monday’s Euro 2024 qualifier being abandoned
After the game, Sweden coach Janne Andersson confirmed they were told about the incident at half-time and decided not to continue with the match. He said: “Everyone was very sad and all the players agreed not to continue with the match.”
Supporters turned their mobile phone lights on at half-time
Manchester United and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof said on Instagram: “I’m shocked and devastated by the terrible incidents in Brussels with the cold-hearted attacks on our fellow Swedes.
“I’m lost for words for the cruelty and inhumanity, I want to send my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those affected.
“At the same time, my thoughts go out to all the supporters in Belgium last night, no one should ever go to a game of football and feel unsafe when supporting their team.”
A post from the Swedish FA on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, read: “Keep calm and take care of each other. Our thoughts go out to all the relatives of those affected in Brussels.”
The Euro 2024 qualifier was abandoned at half-time
The Belgian national FA also wrote: “Our thoughts are with all those affected.”
From Brussels: How police apprehended terror suspect
Sky News’ Adam Parsons:
“From our understanding he was on a bus, he was recognised and there was some kind of confrontation.
“He fled from the bus and went towards a cafe, which is where police arrested him, stopped him and took a weapon off him.
“The Belgian police have launched a huge operation. The threat level in the city has been raised to its maximum. The border with France has been tightened.
“It was a very nervous experience for them [at the stadium for the Belgium-Sweden game] and for everyone in the city a night of anxiety.”