Belgium boss Marc Wilmots wanted to play his team's friendly match against Portugal in Brussels despite the terrorist attacks on Tuesday (22 March). The game has been switched to Leiria over security concerns, but the 47-year-old coach would have happily played the match at the King Baudouin Stadium in the Belgian capital, insisting he does not believe in living in fear.
Bomb attacks at the city's Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station led to the rearrangement of the friendly on 29 March. Wimots said he can understand why the change was made, but also thinks playing in Brussels would have been a symbol of solidarity. "I wanted to play in Brussels, at home, because I am against fear. We have to continue to live our lives. But I respect the decisions taken by the authorities," he said, according to The Mirror.
"Me, I wanted to play here to show them (the terrorists) that even if the terrible events, which shook the country, that life goes on for the majority of people. That we are not scared and we will not change the way we conduct our lives. This is my opinion."
The Belgian boss also revealed his squad – which includes the likes of Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool's Christian Benteke – were consulted over whether they wanted to play the match against Portugal.
"We are very happy to play," he said. "There remained, however, to consult the players. I did not want to impose anything, either collectively or individually. I gave them two hours of reflection and after that, none of them showed any reservations or reluctance. They all wanted to play on Tuesday."