Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 qualifier abandoned after two people shot dead in Brussels

Belgium and Sweden Euro 2024 Group F qualifier abandoned at half-time after two people shot dead in Brussels before kick-off; reports said the pair were wearing Swedish football shirts; the two nations met at the King Baudouin Stadium on the outskirts of the city

The score was 1-1 at half-time when the decision was taken to suspend the game and fans were told to remain in the King Baudouin Stadium “until security permits them to leave.”

Football fans have been locked in Belgium’s national stadium after two Swedish people were shot dead in an incident linked to terrorism.

The Euro 2024 qualifier between Belgium and Sweden was abandoned at half-time after “the players decided they do not want to continue the game, because of what happened earlier today in Brussels,” a stadium announcement said.

No suspect has yet been arrested, and police have cordoned off the scene.

A police spokesperson confirmed that two people had been killed in a shooting, but declined to give further details.

Belgium’s National Crisis Centre raised the terror alert to the highest level on Monday night.

The country’s prime minister, Alexander De Croo, also appeared to link the incident to terrorism.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he wrote: “I have just offered my sincere condolences to the Swedish prime minister following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels.

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners, the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”

In an earlier post, he offered his “deepest condolences” to the relatives of those killed in what he described as a “cowardly assassination attempt”.

He also urged the residents of Brussels to “be vigilant”.

The shooting took place near Boulevard d’Ypres – in an area to the north of Brussels city centre.

The shooting took near the Boulevard d'Ypres in Brussels, Belgium
Image:The shooting took near the Boulevard d’Ypres in Brussels

The area is around three miles (5km) from the King Baudouin Stadium, where the Euro 2024 qualifier is taking place.

“I was completely in shock and immediately started shouting,” one witness told Het Laatste Nieuws – a Dutch-language newspaper based in Belgium.

Video reported to be of the incident shows a gunman in a fluorescent orange jacket and a white helmet chasing a man into a building.