Champions League quarterfinals will go on despite alleged terror threat

Champions League quarterfinals will go on despite alleged terror threat

Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinals schedule will see Real Madrid host Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid and Bayern Munich visit Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

This week's UEFA Champions League quarterfinal matches will go on as scheduled despite a social media terror threat purported to be from the Islamic State group.

"UEFA is aware of alleged terrorist threats made towards this week's UEFA Champions League matches and is closely liaising with the authorities at the respective venues," the governing body said in a statement. "All matches are planned to go ahead as scheduled with appropriate security arrangements in place."

This week's matches will see Bayern Munich visit Arsenal in London and Real Madrid host Manchester City on Tuesday, while Paris Saint-Germain welcome Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund travel to Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.

The threat, which was posted via the Al-Azaim Foundation, a media outlet linked to IS, showed the four stadiums hosting matches this week — London's Emirates Stadium, Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu and Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, and Parc des Princes in Paris — with the words "Kill Them All" and an image of a man holding a gun.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan said in a statement that a "robust policing plan" was prepared ahead of Tuesday's Arsenal's match. The club said it was "working closely" with police in London to ensure everyone's safety.

"Our planning for tonight's fixture is no different and our approach, working together with the Police and UEFA, is proportionate to the current UK threat level," the club said in a statement.

Gérald Darmanin, France's interior minister, said there will be an increased police presence in Paris and that security has been "considerably reinforced."

The interior ministry of Spain released a statement saying that over 2,000 security personnel will be in and around the city for the matches Tuesday and Wednesday night.

"This deployment is coordinated and has the support provided for in the measures that, throughout the territory of the State, establishes the Anti-Terrorist Prevention, Protection and Response Plan for the current level 4 out of 5 of anti-terrorist alert, to which various measures have also been added to prevent these type of contingencies."

The threat and the added security measures did not go unnoticed by the teams involved in this week's Champions League quarterfinals.

"Who isn't worried or concerned by terrorist threats? I hope that it is something that we can control, that will only be a threat and nothing more," PSG head coach Luis Enrique said.

"Security is always important, not just for us as the players, but for everyone, for everyone who loves sport and this game," said PSG's Danilo Pereira. "I do think that's important, but we do have to focus on what we need to do, playing football. There are other people who need to focus on everyone's safety and security."

IS recently claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 133 people in a Moscow concert hall.


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