The Latest: Soccer leader 'deeply disturbed' by bus blasts

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2017 6:12 PM
The Latest: Soccer leader 'deeply disturbed' by bus blasts

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the explosions near the bus carrying German soccer team Borussia Dortmund (all times local):

12:00 a.m.

The head of European soccer's governing body is expressing shock over the explosive devices that damaged a team bus and left a player injured.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco had made the right call by canceling their scheduled Champions League match after the incident outside the Dortmund team's hotel on Tuesday night.

Ceferin says he was "deeply disturbed" to hear about the explosions and that the teams made the correct decision to prioritize the safety of fans, officials and players by postponing the game until Wednesday.

He expressed gratitude to the clubs, local authorities and supporters for their cooperation.

Dortmund team spokesman Sascha Fligge says defender Marc Bartra was operated on late Tuesday for a broken bone and to remove "foreign objects" from his body.

Gianni Infantino, president of world soccer's governing body, FIFA, called the events "troubling."

Infantino says: "FIFA condemn the incidents in Dortmund. We are all awaiting further details of the incident."

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11:20 p.m.

The police chief for the German city of Dortmund says it's not clear yet who was behind the explosions that rocked a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund soccer team and left a player injured.

Dortmund Police Chief Gregor Lange told reporters late Tuesday that police decided at an early stage that the soccer team was the target of the explosions and are not excluding any possible angles in their investigation.

A prosecutor says a letter found outside the hotel the team bus was departing from when the explosions happened "takes responsibility for the act."

Prosecutor Sandra Luecke says authorities won't give details of the letter at this stage, citing the ongoing investigation.

Borussia Dortmund's match against Monaco was canceled and rescheduled for Wednesday.

Lange says officers are doing everything "to provide security and that will be the case tomorrow, too."

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9:55 p.m.

Police in the German city of Dortmund say investigators "are working on the assumption" that the explosions that rocked a professional soccer team's bus were caused by "serious explosive devices."

Dortmund police said the devices that went off near the bus as German team Borussia Dortmund was leaving its hotel for a match Tuesday night "may have been hidden in a hedge near a parking area."

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra was injured in the arm and hand.

The Champions League quarterfinal first leg game between Dortmund and Monaco was called off and rescheduled for Wednesday.

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9:45 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki says the team bus had just pulled out of a hotel driveway at about 7:15 p.m. when it was rocked by an explosion.

Buerki told Swiss daily Blick on Tuesday night that "there was a huge bang, literally an explosion" that sent glass flying about.

Police have said there were three explosions near the bus.

The Swiss keeper says he was sitting in the last row of the bus, next to Spanish defender Marc Bartra. The team earlier identified Bartra as the only player injured.

Buerki says Bartra was hit by shards of glass from the broken back window.

He says players ducked for cover, wondering if there would be more explosions.

Buerki says police were at the scene quickly.

He told Blick: "We're all shocked. Nobody thought about a football match in the minutes after that."

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9:20 p.m.

The chief executive of German soccer team Borussia Dortmund says police informed him that the explosives that went off near the team bus were hidden by the exit of a hotel and detonated as the bus passed.

Dortmund Chief Executive Officer Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a video on the team's website that the team "is totally shocked" by the explosions that damaged the bus and injured defender Marc Bartra.

The explosions happened as Borussia Dortmund was leaving the L'Arrivee Hotel and Spa for a match against Monaco.

The Champions League game was postponed until Wednesday.

Watzke says: "It's our task now to digest this somehow because it's only 24 hours before we have to play. That's our job."

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9:05 p.m.

The chief executive of a German soccer team Borussia Dortmund says player Marc Bartra was injured on the arm and hand when three explosions went off near the team bus.

Dortmund Chief Executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said the injuries to the Spanish defender Tuesday night are "nothing life-threatening."

Dortmund police spokeswoman Nina Vogt says investigators do not yet know the source of the explosions that went off as the team was preparing to leave their hotel for a match against Monaco.

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8:50 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund says defender Marc Bartra was injured when three explosions went off near the team bus and is being treated at a hospital.

The team tweeted the news after its Champions League quarterfinal first leg game against Monaco was called off because of the explosions as the players were leaving their hotel for the match at 7 p.m. local time (1700GMT.)

The team did not provide any details about Bartra's condition.

A spokesman at the already crowded stadium informed fans of the cancellation, saying that "there is no reason for panic here at the stadium."

Dortmund recommended that fans stay in the stadium and remain calm to facilitate an "orderly departure." The club thanked supporters of opponent Monaco for their "patience and understanding" and for chanting "Dortmund! Dortmund!" when the reason for the postponement was announced

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8:30 p.m.

Local police say a player for German soccer team Borussia Dortmund was injured following explosions near the team bus ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal match against Monaco.

North Rhine-Westphalia police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann told The Associated Press Tuesday that there were "three explosions near the team bus as they left the hotel to go to the stadium" and that "there was one player injured inside and damage to a window."

Dortmund said the player, reported in German media to be Spain's Marc Bartra, was "in safety" and that "there is no danger in and around the stadium."

In a statement, police say there was an explosion after 7 p.m. local time (1700 GMT).