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Remembering every time sport became the target of violence

New Zealand v Bangladesh - 2nd Test: Day 4
New Zealand v Bangladesh - 2nd Test: Day 4
Puneet Hooda

The New Zealand massacre silenced the world and showed that terrorism has no religion, and the saddest thing is when the purity of sports is laid unchaste by terrorism

In a recent terror attack in New Zealand, the lucky escapees was the Bangladesh cricket team, who were going to the same mosque, but were fortunate that their captain Mashrafe Mortaza was running late, so they couldn't reach there on time.

Bangladesh has ended their tour due to security concern and, this is the first time it is happening.

Here, we will look at six such incidents were sportsperson were attacked or nearly escaped the attack.


#6 Munich Olympics - 1972

Germany Commemorates Victims Of 1972 Olympic Games Attack
Germany Commemorates Victims Of 1972 Olympic Games Attack

The Olympic games is a historical tournament with the aim to unite all five continents to promote unity and also a healthy competitive spirit in sports. It burns down our soul when terrorists target such a prestigious event.

Munich, Germany hosted the Olympics in 1972 and the havoc caused by the terrorists turned the carnival into the lamenting field. On 5th December, Palestinian terrorists attacked the games village and took 11 Isreal Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with one German police officer. This incident left the whole world in shock and despair.

To pay tribute to the Israeli players and a German Police officer Munich massacre memorial was inaugurated in Munich On September 6, 2017.


#5 New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka (1987)

Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney
Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney

New Zealand cricket team was on tour to Sri Lanka to play three Test matches and three One-Day Internationals, and nobody forecasted the way tour ended. A bomb exploded near New Zealand team's hotel in Colombo created chaos in New Zealand contingent.

However, New Zealand cricket team was not the target, but it caused tension and despair among the team members. Luckily, no one got killed or injured during the attack. It was one of the darkest days in the history of cricket and still haunt cricket fans around the world.

New Zealand cricket team decided to end their tour and returned home safely. The incident not only left New Zealand players traumatised but also proved disastrous for Sri Lanka cricket fans as well because until 1992 international cricket was not played in the country.

#4 New Zealand tour of Pakistan (2002)

An emotional New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming
An emotional New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming

When it comes to violence during sports New Zealand cricket team is the unluckiest team. When they were in Pakistan in 2002 the wounds of the 1987 bomb blast were freshened up.

They were scheduled to play four test matches. Just a few hours before the start of the 2nd test match a bomb exploded near the New Zealand team's hotel which resulted in the death of 13 civilians. However, the blast didn't lead to any physical injuries to the players and staff members, but mentally it was catastrophic for them.

The attack left Stephen Fleming broken as he cried while addressing the media. The tour was cancelled by New Zealand board due to security reason. These kinds of incidents leave behind scares which are perpetual and painful.


#3 Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan (2009)

Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene

3 March 2009 is one of the darkest days in the history of cricket. What happened that day was not imagined by anyone. Sri Lanka was on tour to Pakistan, and the terrorists attacked the bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers to Gadaffi stadium, Karachi. Twelve gunmen were ambushing near the stadium, and when the bus was about to reach the stadium, they fired mercilessly resulting in the death of 6 police officers and two civilians.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured which includes Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakkara (Vice Captain), Tharanga Paranavitana, Ajantha Mendis, Chaminda Vas, Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), and Suranga Lakmal.

This incident was shocking to the world, and it left Sri Lankan players heartbroken and shattered. The authorities used aeroplanes to rescue Sri Lanka's players, and arrangements were for their safe return to home.

#2 Africa Cup of Nations (2010)

Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the biggest football tournament in the Africa continent and every African team dream of winning it. Togo national team bus was attacked on 8 January 2010 during AFCON 2010. The attack resulted in the death of Togo's assistant manager, media officer, and the bus driver.

Togo players were seen crying, and it was a heart wrecking moment. The attack has left an eternal mark in the memories of players. Togo later back out and didn't participate in the tournament.


#1 France vs Germany (International Friendly)

France vs Germany International friendly 2015
France vs Germany International friendly 2015

November 2015 has witnessed numerous attack in Paris out of which one was outside French national stadium. Three suicide bombers tried to enter the stadium but failed. However, they detonate there vest outside the stadium when the match was going on. The game continued without a public announcement to avoid chaos and tension.

However, both the French team and the German team spent the night in the stadium only because of security reasons. Fans were gathered on the field before evacuation as the security personals were monitoring the exits.

It could have been a lot worse if the bombers managed to enter the stadium which was their primary plan.

Edited by Kingshuk Kusari

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