In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Belgium has been forced to cancel their friendly match with Spain.
The decision has been taken after investigators identified a Belgian national as the possible mastermind of Paris attacks, with Brussels seen as the springboard and with arrests being made in Belgium.
The match was to take place at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels but at the eleventh hour on Monday the game had to be called off on the advice of the government.
The Belgium team’s official Twitter account confirmed the news which read: “Our match against Spain has been cancelled.”
The Belgian Football Association website issued a statement saying: “‘In consultation with the competent authorities and the Spanish national team, the Belgian FA has decided to cancel the match.’
‘At the very end of the evening the Belgian FA was contacted by the government, who made the recommendation not to play tomorrow’s match. This is because the terror alert level is high and with the current leakage of a suspicious person.’
‘We deeply regret that such a friendly match between two motivated teams has been cancelled so late and we understand the disappointment of many supporters.
‘However, taking into account the exceptional circumstances, we cannot take any security risk with players and fans.
‘Ticket holders will get more information about tickets in the course of this week.’”
However, France’s match against England at Wembley will go on as scheduled.
Earlier on Monday, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had said that he was happy to play the game but Monday afternoon said, “I am not afraid.”
“We are coming to play a game. Everything will go as normal.”
“The team are in good shape. They are affected by what happened the other day (in Paris) but we must know how to isolate that from the important match we have tomorrow.”
“It’s our final game of the year and we want to finish on a high.”
The Belgian government has raised the terror threat level to three on Monday, a clear indication of a serious threat.