Brussels - The Belgium-Spain international friendly in
Brussels on Tuesday has been cancelled on the recommendation of the national
crisis centre following the Islamist attacks in Paris, official sources said.
The centre, under the interior ministry, recommended the
cancellation of the match after the terrorist threat level was Monday raised to
three, or severe, for the whole country, representing a possible and credible
threat, according to a statement.
"This threat particularly concerns heavily populated
places," it said.
"A visible and reinforced police presence was requested
for all major events with increased awareness at each. All citizens are also
requested to be vigilant," the crisis centre added.
"Decisions are taken by the crisis centre, which
includes all the security services," a Belgian government source told AFP,
confirming that the match was cancelled.
Also read: Spain announce squad to face England and Belgium
The Belgian Football Association (URBSFA) confirmed the
"At the end of the evening, the Belgian FA has been
contacted by the government, which has made the recommendation not to have the
Belgium-Spain match on Tuesday evening," the Belgian association said, as
quoted by the Belga news agency.
"In consultation with the competent authorities and the
Spanish national team, the Belgian FA has decided to cancel the meeting,"
"We deeply regret that a friendly match between two
motivated teams is cancelled so late and we understand the disappointment of
"In view of these exceptional circumstances, we cannot
however take any risk in security matters for our players and supporters,"
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque gave a lukewarm reaction to
"Some of us wanted to play this game...but well, given
there are security reasons," he told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
"I think the players are calm."
Nearly 50,000 people were expected for the Tuesday evening
clash between Belgium, number one in the FIFA rankings, and European champions
After Friday's attacks in Paris, OCAM had already
recommended greater police vigilance for major public events.
The attacks in the French capital killed 129 people with
hundreds more wounded.For
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