Germany’s friendly with the Netherlands on Tuesday has been called off because of a “concrete security threat” against the city of Hannover.
Evacuation of the Hannover Stadium, which was hosting the match, began less than two hours before kick-off. The city’s president of police Volker Kluwe told the BBC “there were plans for some kind of explosion”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the match at the 49,000-capacity HDI Arena. Belgium’s friendly with Spain on Tuesday in Brussels 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 is going ahead, with tributes to be paid to the 129 people killed in Paris on Friday.
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 reports 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.”