Five Most Horrible Terrorist Attacks that Shook the Sporting Fraternity
Sports is one such field which should not draw any relationship with terrorism. It is very rare that a sports team or a player is attacked by the militants or terrorists. But there are some incidents where the terrorists took their toll on sporting fraternity. Here are five such incidents where a sports team or a player is attacked by the terrorists or millitants.
Munich’s Black September
When the entire World was busy with the 1972 Munich Olympics, the most horrible event took place. A Palestine militant group called “Black September” took as many as 11 members of Israel contingent as hostages along with a German police officer. After a 16-hour stand-off, the hostages were killed and shortly after that, the militants demanded the release of 234 prisoners kept in Israeli Jails and the release of founders of German Red Faction. For the first time in modern Olympic history, competition was suspended for a memorial service held in the Olympic Stadium attended by 80,000 spectators and 3,000 athletes.
Terrorism in Pakistan is not a strange happening. After the refusal of Australia to tour Pakistan since 1998 and the suicide bombings outside New Zealand’s team hotel, the terrorists struck once again. This time in 2009, the Sri Lankan team was affected. The Sri Lankan team was en route to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore to take part in the day 3 of the second test against the host and in the midway through the travel, few unidentified gunmen started targeting the team bus. Since 1972’s Munich massacre, this was the first attack on a country’s National Sports team. Thilan Samaraweera, Ajantha Mendis and Tharanga Paranavithana were badly injured and Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal and Chaminda Vaas sustained minor injuries.
The beautiful game turned ugly outside Spanish Giants Real Madrid’s home ground Santiago Bernabeu in 2002. Basque separatist group E.T.A. detonated a car bomb close to Bernabau just hours before the start of Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against El-Clasico and arch rivals Barcelona. The bombing came shortly after the arrest of 11 Batasuna (a political party linked to E.T.A.) members, but it wasn’t clear if it was directed against Real Madrid, which is supported by many of Spain’s ruling elite.
Togo Football Team
The Togo National team, which was scheduled to take part in the 2011 African Cup of Nations in Angolawere attacked by Gunmen when the team bus was travelling through the Angolan province of Cabinda. This attack led to the death of team’s Assistant Coach Amelete Abolo, Journalist Stanislas Ocloo and bus driver Mario Adjoua and eventually the Togo team pulled out from the tournament. Later, the rebels of oil-rich territory Cabinda, who have been fighting for Independence claimed responsibility of the attack. Togo skipper Emmanuel Adebayor announced his retirement in the next few days after the attack and came back a year later for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Sri Lanka’s Marathon Massacre
On the eve of Sri Lankan New Year in 2008, a marathon took place to celebrate the auspicious day but turned ot to be a massacre. A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated a device at the start of a marathon which eventually killed atleast 12 people and injured over 100. The casualities included Sri Lankan highways minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, former Olympic marathon runner KA Karunaratne and the national athletics coach, Lakshman de Alwis.