الإثنين , أغسطس 24 2020

Germany friendly called off

Germany’s friendly with the Netherlands on Tuesday was called off because of an “intention to ignite explosives” at the Hannover stadium.

Evacuation began less than two hours before kick-off after a “concrete security threat”, said the city’s president of police Volker Kluwe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the match at the 49,000-capacity HDI Arena.

The German national team’s players were put under police protection.

Fans were told to return home “quickly, but without panic”.

Germany’s Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere told a news conference: “The match was called off on my recommendation.

“There is a high level of threat for Germany and Europe.”

Belgium’s friendly with Spain in Brussels, also scheduled to be played on Tuesday, was

called off

on Monday because of security fears in the wake of last week’s attacks in

Paris.

England’s match against France

at Wembley on Tuesday night went ahead, with tributes paid to the 129 people killed in Paris on Friday.

German FA

The German FA Tweeted soon after the cancellation

Reinhard Rauball, the German Football League president, said the cancellation of the Dutch game was a “sad day for football”.

Boris Pistorius, the Interior Minister for the State of Lower Saxony, told journalists no arrests had been made and no explosives found.

Part of Hannover train station has since been closed while a suspicious object is investigated, German media have reported.

German team national spokesman Jens Grittner

tweeted: 

“The team were diverted on the way to the stadium. In a safe place. We can’t say more at the moment.”

The world champions had initially not wanted the game to go ahead, having been France’s opponents in Paris on Friday when the wave of attacks hit the city.

The contingent of 80 Germans, including players, coaches and staff, then spent the night in the changing rooms of the Stade de France stadium, before leaving for the airport on Saturday morning.

Ciaran Fahey

Associated Press sports reporter in Germany Ciaran Fahey, tweeted about the security measures around the ground

But the players, coaches and national football association decided to proceed with the game in a show of unity with the French.

The Associated Press agency reported there had been a bomb threat about an hour earlier outside the stadium, with streets leading to the ground being sealed off before the all-clear was given.

Hannover’s mayor Stefan Schostok told German newspaper

Bild: 

“Safety is paramount. This is a fear you will always have.

“I trust the police have made the right decision. If a threat situation exists, then those steps must be taken.”

German police officers search between the seats

German police officers searched between the seats

German police

The German team was guarded by police before travelling to the stadium

Police

Police forces walk in front of the evacuated HDI Arena prior to the match

Police

Police officers carry guns outside the HDI-Arena in Hannover

Press conference

Journalists wait outside the state interior ministry for a news conference

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