DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said his team felt ignored by UEFA after being made to play AS Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after an attack on their bus.
The quarter-final first leg in Dortmund was postponed on Tuesday after three explosions went off near the German team’s bus as it made its way to the stadium, injuring Spanish defender Marc Bartra.
The match was immediately rescheduled for Wednesday and Monaco ran out 3-2 winners in what turned out to be a pulsating game.
UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, said it had made the decision after consulting both teams.
”We weren’t asked at any point. We were told by text message that the decision had been made in Switzerland (where UEFA are based),“ Tuchel told reporters. ”When they told us ‘you’re up tomorrow’, we felt completely ignored.
”They treated it as if a beer can had been thrown at the bus.
”We would have liked more time to take stock,“ he added. ”This gives you the feeling of impotence, that we have to keep functioning and nothing else matters.
“I encouraged everyone to take the game seriously but football is not the most important thing in the world.”
Tuchel said each player had been affected differently.
“Everyone has the right to deal with it in his own way,” he said. “We want to help every player to overcome his inner conflict. It was a bad experience.”
Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, who came on as a second-half substitute, said the incident had put football into perspective.
“We love football, we suffer with football and I know we earn a lot of money, and we have a privileged life, but we are human beings and there is so much more than football in this world...and last night we felt it,” he said.
“I don’t know if the people can understand this but, until I was on the pitch in the second half, I didn’t think about football,” he said.
“I get goosebumps...when we were in the bus last night, I can’t forget the faces.”
AS Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said the match had been overshadowed by Tuesday’s events.
“It won’t be the result that will be remembered, it will be what happened yesterday, which was not a football situation,” said the Portuguese.
“Of course, the preparation was not the same. We prepared twice for the same match and today’s preparation was more difficult. Yesterday, the players phoned their families, their friends and their concentration levels were not so high.”
Reporting by Ed Dove and Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis