Belgium’s friendly international football match against Japan was nearly canceled on Tuesday due to what Belgian authorities claimed was a credible terrorist threat, local media reported on Wednesday.
“We didn’t know if we were going to play an hour before the match,” Belgian Football Association spokesperson Stefaan Van Loock said.
According to Belgian media, during wiretapping operations, Brussels police heard talk of a planned attack at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges.
Belgium has been shaken by a number of attacks in the last three years that have killed 36 people.
In March last year, three coordinated suicide attacks ripped through Brussels Airport and a metro station in the center of the Belgian capital, killing 32 and injured hundreds more.
After getting the information on Tuesday Brussels police notified their Bruges counterparts and the Belgian anti-terrorism body Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA).
The authorities considered canceling the match while security outside the stadium was reinforced.
Due to the extra checks on entrance, hundreds of spectators didn’t enter the ground until half an hour after kick-off.
However Police found no evidence of a planned attack, and at the end of the match, fans left the stadium without any problems.
Belgium won the match 1-0 with a goal from Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.