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Thomas Tuchel: Bus bombing contributed to Borussia Dortmund departure

Former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has said that he would still be at the club had it not been for last year’s bomb attack on the team bus. Several players have said that they are still affected by the attack.Former head coach Thomas Tuchel (pictured above) was among those who testified on Monday about the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus ahead of the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie with Monaco last April.

Asked whether there was a direct link between the attack and his departure as head coach, Tuchel replied: “I would assume so.”

“Aki (Borussia Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke) has already said publicly that there was a major discrepancy,” Tuchel said. “This is true. The essence of the discrepancy is that I was sitting on the bus and Aki wasn’t. That’s why there was a major discrepancy about how to go about things – without wanting to hold it against Aki.”

The coach, who is currently without a club, also said that he was “absolutely convinced” that the attack had an effect on the performances of his players.

“There was so much to deal with,” Tuchel said. He also cited a psychologist who said that someone who has experienced that sort of traumatic event should not be put into a similar situation to that in which it occurred for several days. “But we were already back on the bus.”

Playing the next day a ‘mistake’

It seemed pretty clear at the time that Tuchel, like many of the players, was against going ahead with the match less than 24 hours later. Dortmund lost the match 3-2.

In the courtroom on Monday, former Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender said it had clearly been a “mistake” to play the match when they did. He also said that the attack played a part in his decision to leave the club for Leverkusen in the summer.

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfelder said he had sought assistance from a psychologist.

“It’s still a topic of discussion within the team. I know players who are still suffering as a result,” he said. “It has changed my life.”

Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer said he is still startled by loud noises.

“I try to put it out of my mind but every once in a while there is a moment when you think about how lucky we were,” he said.

Motivated by greed

The suspect in the bombing, 28-year-old Sergei W., who has confessed to carrying out the attack, is charged with 28 counts of attempted murder. He has said he did so in an effort to profit from a scheme in which he assumed that the price of Borussia Dortmund shares would plunge in the wake of the attack. He has said that he did not intend to kill anyone, but then-Dortmund defender Marc Bartra, who has since moved to Real Betis, suffered a fractured wrist in the attack.

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