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Belgium vs. Portugal Friendly Moved Following Brussels Attacks

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 13: Commemoration of the 39 football fans who died in the Heysel stadium at the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventu during the intermational friendly match between Belgium and Italy at King Baudouin Stadium on November 13, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2016

Belgium's national team has decided to move its upcoming international friendly against Portugal to Leiria in the wake of Tuesday's attacks in Brussels. 

As reported by the team's official website, the city of Brussels asked the Red Devils to cancel the match for security reasons.

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated later reported the Belgian football federation had worked with their Portuguese counterparts to switch the venue to Portugal:

On Tuesday, Brussels was the site of multiple bombings that claimed the lives of at least 30 people, per CNN's Joshua Berlinger

Bombs went off inside Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station, per BBC News. The attack came just days after Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks of last year, was arrested, via BBC News.

Per the Red Devils' official Twitter account, training was immediately cancelled, and the players took to social media to offer their condolences.

Captain and Manchester City star Vincent Kompany was among them:

Per CrisisCenter Belgium, the local terror level remains at the highest level, and most public events will likely be put on hold as a result. Per Cyclingnews.com, the major cycling race Dwars door Vlaanderen did go ahead as planned. 

The switch of location for the Portugal friendly shouldn't come as a surprise and marks the second time in just a few months Belgium were unable to host a match in Brussels.

In November, the Red Devils were forced to cancel a match against Spain due to a heightened terror threat, per the Guardian. Belgium haven't played a single match since then.

FIFA's top-ranked team will go looking for their first bit of major silverware during the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament this summer. 

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