Toby Alderweireld has revealed that Tottenham’s players have been discussing the Paris attacks and subsequent security alerts across Europe as many attempt to cope with the impact it is having.
Captain Hugo Lloris played in France’s 2-0 friendly defeat of Germany, during which suicide bombers targeted the area around the Stade de France as part of a series of attacks across Paris which killed a total of 130 people.
Since then, amid fears that Brussels was at risk, a friendly between Belgium and Spain and two domestic fixtures have been cancelled, prompting concerns for Alderweireld, whose brother is a policeman in the Belgian capital, and his compatriots and Spurs team-mates Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Nacir Chadli.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier also played when England hosted France just five days after the attacks in a fixture that also at one point looked likely to be cancelled but was instead played in a spirit of defiance.
Alderweireld, who scored Spurs’ second goal in Sunday’s 4-1 Premier League defeat of West Ham, said: “Of course, it affects you. Paris is quite close to Belgium, and in Brussels there’s a lot of problems there.
“My family’s in Antwerp, so not so far from Brussels. My brother is a police officer in Brussels, so yeah, it affects you a little, but I try to focus on football.
“You think about it, it’s always in the press, everybody talks about it. You have to talk with the group about it, but the rest we can’t do anything about so hopefully everything will settle down quickly.
“All the Belgian guys (talk) of course, and the English guys, they’re hearing and reading the press as well, so they want to know what’s happening so everybody knows everything.
“My brother doesn’t get a free day. Every free day is gone as he has to work every day, sometimes in different places, for the rest (of the time) he doesn’t talk a lot about it.
“He has to do his daily job like the rest of us and I think the army is there as well. It’s not a good situation and hopefully it’s quickly over.”