Former MLS player considering leaving Belgian League due to attacks

According to the Washington Post, former D.C. United and Honduran international Andy Najar is thinking about leaving the country in which he has played in for the past three years because of recent terrorist attacks

This week Najar isn’t in Belgium, the site where more than 30 people were killed in a Brussels metro station as well as the airport, but his wife and children are. While Najar is currently in Honduras, getting ready for two World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador, he has been frantically communicating with his wife and two kids making sure they are okay.

“I was so nervous and scared,” Najar said. “I called her like crazy as soon as I could. They are afraid. They want to leave.”

While it’s going to be tough, Najar is going to try and arrange to meet with his family in Washington D.C. while they stay in the United States and he goes back to Belgium to finish out the final couple months at Anderlecht, currently 3rd in the Belgian League. The Belgian attack as well as the hunt for those who committed the Paris attacks a few months ago were reasons for Najar and his family to want to leave Belgium.

“I’m afraid for my family. I don’t want anything to happen to them or happen to me. It’s dangerous. I want to be safe. It would be best for me to leave here.”

Anderlecht shouldn’t have any problems selling Najar as teams in Spain, Italy and England are interested in the Honduran winger. And I know what you are thinking because I thought this same thing at first, this similar terroristic act can happen in other places as well. For Najar, he realizes that, but it’s so bad in Belgium that it’s worth leaving.

“In every country, it can happen. But Belgium is bad right now. I don’t want this life for my family. I love playing for Anderlecht. It has allowed me to become a better player. But at the moment, I don’t want to go back.”

The recent attacks had also sparked memories he had as a young boy in Honduras, witnessing violence and relatives being murdered that resulted in him and his family escaping to the United States as a kid in the first place.

This appears to be a sad thing to consider more and more for someone when signing with a soccer team, how safe the country is from terrorism. There’s no doubt that something similar to what happened in Brussels can happen anywhere, but if a player is worried that staying will endanger him or his family, he probably won’t be able to effectively focus and give 100% for Anderlecht and it seems that they understand that.

[Washington Post]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp