After explosion, soccer rivals open doors to fellow fans

Explosions erupted near a Borussia Dortmund team bus as the German squad was en route to its home match against AS Monaco in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League football quarterfinals Tuesday, April 11, 2017 local police said in a tweet.

UPDATE:
German authorities suspect “terrorist involvement” in a bomb attack on the bus of the Borussia Dortmund soccer team, based on the type of detonator and explosive involved, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor’s office said Wednesday. One person is in custody in connection with the case, spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said. Police found a claim of responsibility whose text indicates an Islamist connection and are investigating this, she said. The claim references a withdrawal of German jets from Syria.

 

DORTMUND, Germany — Germans opened their homes to stranded Monaco supporters on Tuesday evening after an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus forced officials to postpone the Champions League soccer match by a day.

Three explosions shattered windows and injured one player while the team was en route to its home match in the western German city of Dortmund. Germany’s federal prosecutor announced on Wednesday that it had taken over the investigation.

Police said the bus was struck shortly after 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) as it left its hotel for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals match against AS Monaco.

Spanish defender Marc Bartra, 26, suffered injuries to an arm and hand, the team said.

The game was subsequently rescheduled for Wednesday evening, leaving many Monaco fans without a place to stay for the night.

Borussia Dortmund used their official Twitter account to help find beds for those in need, using the hashtag #bedforawayfans.

In a show of true sportsmanship, Dortmund supporters answered the call, opening their doors to those in need of last minute housing.

Borussia Dortmund President Reinhard Rauball hailed the compassion shown by Monaco fans following the attack and praised the effort to take in stranded supporters in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday morning.

“Dortmund fans were ready to provide shelter to the Monaco fans that didn’t have a place to stay or the financial means,” Rauball told ZDF. “I have a personal example, a friend of mine sent me a text straight away saying he would like to provide shelter for 10 Monaco fans.”

One Dortmund fan, Stefan Kilmer (@vespafoto), offered accommodation to five people in a post on Twitter.

He later shared a selfie from his home, where he was sitting down to dinner with Dortmund and Monaco supporters — dressed in their respective team’s jerseys. The tweet has been shared over 14,000 times.

Kilmer became an overnight celebrity for his hospitality, with German justice minister Heiko Maas, professional Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas Fern├índez, and the AS Monaco team itself singing his praises. But Kilmer wasn’t the only Dortmund fan to come to the aid of Monagasques.

When Julien Bestron, a Monaco fan from Nancy, France, tweeted in English and German looking for accommodation for three fans, Philip Kruse (@Ras_Afro on Twitter) came to the rescue.

“He welcomed us very nicely, offered beers and we talked with him until 12.30 and went to bed,” Bestron told CNN via Twitter.

“We learned a lot about him and his life and Germany, too bad for him that he is an Arsenal fan,” he quipped.

Bestron said that they took the photo with French former soccer player Ludovic Giuly’s jersey this morning to mark the moment.

“It was really surprising for us to have somebody welcoming us like that,” Bestron said. “@Ras_Afro was a great host and it was a great experience! We can’t wait to watch the game noooooooow!!!

Speaking with CNN on Wednesday morning, senior UEFA official Giorgio Marchetti thanked Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco for their cooperation.

“We understand, and definitely Dortmund knows, that it has been a shock,” Marchetti said. “But they have agreed nonetheless to play this match.”

CNN’s Justin Lear contributed to this report