Boateng tells family not to attend Euros amid terror fears

Berlin (AFP) – Germany defender Jerome Boateng said his wife and five-year-old twins will not go to France to watch him play in the European Championship finals because of terror fears.

Boateng was in the German team playing at the Stade de France in Paris on November 13 last year when a series of jihadist attacks left 130 dead. Suicide bombers tried to get into the stadium.

“Each person must decide for himself how to deal with it. I have already done so,” he told the weekly Sport Bild, adding that his decision was that “my family and children will not be coming to the stadium. The risk is simply too big.”

“It’s obviously sad to have to deal with such a question. But too many things have happened in the last few days that makes one reflect,” he said.

“I would like to concentrate fully on football during the Euro, and I would feel much better if my family is not sitting in the stadium,” added Boateng.

Reacting to Boateng’s comments, German Football Association chief Reinhard Grindel said it is an issue “that each person should decide for himself and his family”.

“I respect that and I do not wish to comment. We have, as before, confidence in the French authorities in charge of security,” he added, according to AFP’s German-language sports subsidiary SID. 

Grindel had said during a press conference last week that the German FA had “in agreement with the French organisers and our own security services put together one or two special measures” to ensure the safety of Die Mannschaft.

Speaking from the squad’s base in Evian, by France’s border with Switzerland, coach Joachim Loew described the atmosphere as “relaxed”.

“Obviously, security is an important question, but the team is not talking about it in our camp. No one feels threatened, we are concentrating on our work and that’s the main thing,” he said. 

Die Mannschaft will make their first return to the Stade de France since the November attacks — when suicide bombers blew themselves up around the stadium — on June 16 when they face Poland.

A few days after the November attacks, a friendly between Germany and the Netherlands in Hanover was scrapped at the last minute over a terror threat.

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