Germany-Netherlands Soccer Match Called Off Over Bomb Fears

The entire stadium was evacuated after a bomb threat on Tuesday. A scheduled friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was canceled. German Chancellor Angel Merkel was due to attend the game in Hanover along with Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and several of the government ministers.

Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennes and Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers too were to attend the match, but after the threat they returned home.

According to Hanover Police President Volker Kluwe, specific indications were received by them about a planned attack in the stadium with explosives and so they had taken it seriously.

Just two hours ahead of the event the match between Germany and Netherlands was canceled. Police vans with loudspeakers urged the fans to evacuate the stadium without panicking and heavily armed officers stood positioned outside the arena.

The Hanover police also evacuated the TUI multi-purpose arena where a concert was scheduled to start.

The main train station in Hanover was also closed partially including some of the public transport stations.

The German team spokesman Jens Grittner tweeted they were re-routed to the stadium and now are in a safe area. They are a contingent of 80 Germans that included players, coaches and staff. After the Paris attacks on Friday they initially didn’t want to go ahead with the friendly match, but later decided to go for it in a gesture of solidarity with France.

On Friday night they were holed up in the changing rooms of Stade de France stadium.