I have just returned from two weeks in Japan during which I paid scant attentions either to the news or to soccer. Now, both have jolted my consciousness, due to a series of explosions near a bus carrying the Dortmund soccer team to a big European match against Monaco.
Early reports indicate that the team bus was rocked by three explosions. One Dortmund player, Marc Bartra (a decent center-back formerly with Barcelona) was injured by flying glass.
The match has been postponed. Monaco fans showed their class by chanting the name of their opponent in a display of solidarity. Monaco is a short distance from Nice, which experienced a deadly terrorist attack last summer.
Borussia Dortmund is a fantastic club. Its supporters may be the most ardent in Germany. Angela Merkel is one of the them.
The explosions occurred less than an hour ago, and to my knowledge no one has claimed responsibility for them. Nor have authorities yet commented on who was responsible. It is impossible not to suspect that this was the work of terrorists, but there’s no point in speculating.
We’ll provide additional information as it becomes available.
UPDATE: A letter reportedly has been found near the site of the blasts. Police are examining it.
MORE: The authorities say the letter writer takes responsibility for the attack. As yet, however, there are no reports as to the identity or affiliation, if any, of the author.