DORTMUND, Germany â€” With the help of a hashtag, Borussia Dortmund fans have opened their doors to stranded Monaco supporters after their Champions League game was called off.
The first leg of the quarterfinals was postponed by a day after the Dortmund team bus was targeted in three blasts. Dortmund defender Marc Bartra needed surgery on injuries to his wrist and arm.
Many Monaco fans had planned to return home after Tuesday’s game and were left without accommodation for the night. But using the hashtag #bedforawayfans, supporters were able to communicate on Twitter to arrange meet-ups and offer spare rooms or couches.
User @doerpm wrote on Twitter: “If you need a #bedforawayfans for this or next night, just ask me. Speak a little bit french and will support you.”
Monaco fan Olivier Pourcel told The Associated Press he used the hashtag to find somewhere to stay for the night.
“One of the Dortmund supporters sent me his message and invited me to his place, so we had a beer together, we had fun and it was really nice, a good experience,” Pourcel said.
“I have his number, he has mine, and when he will visit me in France, I will welcome him at my place, and when I come again to Germany, I will go to his place again. So, we will keep in touch for sure, in the future.”
Another local fan, Stefan Kilmer, took in four Monaco fans after seeing the hashtag and hearing of the blasts on the radio.
“Football is a sport that brings people together,” Kilmer told news agency dpa.
Kilmer and his four guests cooked spaghetti.
“The mood was good. We didn’t talk much about what happened,” Kilmer said.
Both Dortmund and Monaco encouraged the action through retweets of the hashtag to bring it to a wider audience. Both followed up by tweeting pictures of Dortmund and Monaco fans socializing together.
“Das ist Fussball!” Monaco said.
The French club also offered to reimburse its fans who stayed in Dortmund overnight up to 80 euros ($85).
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev expressed his support for Bartra and the Dortmund team, and he praised fans for their reaction.
“We need to congratulate the German fans for their generosity,” Vasilyev said.
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said he had “no idea” how the rescheduled game would turn out, “but thanks to #bedforawayfans there are already a whole lot of winners.”
More AP Champions League coverage: http://apne.ws/2lgcPZm
The Associated Press