Wednesday the 3rd of March

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Sports chaplain calls for more security

The Chaplain for Sport has stressed the importance of increased security following the recent attack carried out on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

“Terrorists seek maximum publicity for their grim activities. Their twisted minds realised that an attack on a team known by all – and admired by many – in Germany would achieve their goal. It did,” Mgr Vladimir Felzmann told The Universe.

While stating that it was lucky that the bomb was poorly executed and thus relatively little damage was caused, he warned that it is highly possible that there will be future copycat attempts.

Dortmund were the victims of an attack on their team bus before a Champions League clash with Monaco on Tuesday 11th April. Three explosions occurred around the bus – believed to be a targeted bomb attack – as the players left the team hotel en route to the Signal Iduna Park stadium for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, which was swiftly postponed.

Dortmund’s Spanish defender Marc Bartra was taken to hospital, where he required an operation for a broken bone in his right wrist.

Police also revealed a letter had been found, claiming responsibility for the incidents.

Mgr Felzmann, who is also CEO of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, pointed out that the prominence of sport in many countries made it an obvious target for such attacks and therefore an increase in security is essential.

“Security is precious; but pricy,” he noted, suggesting that some teams travelling abroad will have to take their own sniffer dogs which, due to hygiene and health considerations, cannot travel in the team buses.

“They will have to be transported in accompanying vehicles – with their handlers – who will also have to be hotel-accommodated,” he added.

“The future is opaque. Who would have imaged this un-military conflict at the turn of the millennium?” Mgr Felzmann asked. “Violence seems to be deeply ingrained in our humanity. Think Cain and Abel,” he continued.

“Remember the trenches of World War I, the tank-battles and bombings of World War II, the napalm of Vietnam and now this sporadic unpredictability of small-cell bombers.

“Can our flawed humanity ever change its spots?”

This weekend’s FA Cup Semi-Final fixtures:

Saturday 22nd April

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – 5:15pm

Sunday 23rd April

Arsenal v Manchester City – 3:00pm

This week’s Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 22nd April

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough – 3:00pm
Hull City v Watford – 3:00pm
Swansea City v Stoke City – 3:00pm
West Ham United v Everton – 3:00pm

Sunday 23rd April

Burnley v Manchester United – 2:15pm
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – 4:30pm

Tuesday 25th April

Chelsea v Southampton – 7:45pm

Wednesday 26th April

Arsenal v Leicester City – 7:45pm
Middlesbrough v Sunderland – 7:45pm
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur – 8:00pm

Thursday 27th April

Manchester City v Manchester United – 8:00pm

Picture: Police secure the training ground of Borussia Dortmund prior the Champions League first leg quarterfinal match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, Germany, on Wednesday 12th April. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner).