About the match
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Spectators leave the HDI-Arena stadiums as the soccer friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled in Hannover, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Ciaran Fahey, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, November 17, 2015 1:50PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 17, 2015 6:46PM EST
HANNOVER, Germany -- The friendly soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled 90 minutes before kickoff on Tuesday due to the suspected threat of a bomb at the stadium.
"We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device in the stadium," Hannover police chief Volker Kluwe told German TV.
Referring to another bomb threat about an hour beforehand that turned out to be a false alarm, Kluwe said, "After the first object turned out to be harmless, we got a tip that had to be taken seriously that an attack was being planned."
Members of the German government including Chancellor Angela Merkel were not at the stadium, but had arrived in Hannover to attend the match to send a signal that Germany wouldn't bow to terrorism in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks on Friday.
At that time, Germany was playing France in a soccer friendly in the Stade de France, outside of which three suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing one bystander. The bombers sought unsuccessfully to enter the stadium. At least 129 people were killed in the co-ordinated attacks in the French capital.
Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere took responsibility for calling off Tuesday's game. He said indications of a planned attack became stronger as the match approached, and the decision was made shortly after Merkel and her ministers landed. She flew back to Berlin.
De Maiziere said he could give few details because he needed to protect the source of information, and because "part of these answers would upset the population."
Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius, speaking at the same late news conference, said no explosives had been found by then, and no arrests had been made.
Pistorius said there was no confirmation of rumours that an explosive device was placed in an ambulance or another vehicle inside or outside the stadium.
One of two caretaker presidents in charge of the German football federation, Reinhard Rauball, said the German team was about five kilometres away from the stadium when he called and told them to turn around.
Rauball also told two Dutch ministers and the country's ambassador of the threat and the decision to cancel the game.
"It's a sad day for German football," Rauball said.
Rauball added that the German players left Hannover by late evening through various means, and that the Dutch team was flying out.
Rauball, who also acts as the German league president, said the Bundesliga fixtures this weekend would go ahead as planned but there were security issues to be resolved.
"My impression is that football in Germany has taken a different turn in every facet of today," Rauball said.
A bomb disposal unit secured a suspicious package from a train in Hannover late Tuesday, though it was unclear whether it was a bomb or not.
"The dummy is so good that it might even be a real bomb," police spokeswoman Sandra Perlebach told news agency dpa.
The search was on for the man who left it there. A fellow passenger informed him he left something behind but he failed to react and left the train, Perlebach said.
The train had been on the way from Bremen to Oldenburg. Two platforms at Hannover station, about two kilometres from the stadium, remained closed.
Police had shut down parts of the main Hannover train station and several subway stations while searching the area around the stadium. A jazz concert at which around 900 concert-goers were expected was also cancelled.
Spectators had only just started entering the Hannover stadium when the evacuation order was given, which affected mainly stadium staff, match workers, VIP guests, and media.
Announcements at the stadium in northern Germany advised people to go home in a calm manner, and that there was no danger to fear. Most fans were still waiting outside when the order came.
There were no signs of panic, with most fans seemingly accepting the decision with resignation. Police became more forceful with members of the media who attempted to stay beside the stadium.
Security at the stadium was very tight, with police armed with machine-guns and maintaining a very obvious presence in the city. Reporters arriving for the game were searched, while a sniffer dog was deployed to check their bags.
The stadium was still sealed off four and a half hours after the evacuation order, leaving many video journalists and photographers waiting to recover equipment they left inside. Others who arrived by car couldn't leave as their vehicles were in the blocked-off area.
Tuesday's friendly between Belgium and Spain was called off late Monday following a Belgian government recommendation. The Belgian Football Association said it was "in the context of a new elevated terrorist alert and the current pursuit of a suspect."
- AP sports writer Nesha Starcevic in Frankfurt, Germany, contributed.Top Videos
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November 17, 2015
November 17, 2015
A friendly, international soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was canceled due to bomb threats 90 minutes before it was slated to begin. A suspicious package was found inside the stadium in Hannover, Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to attend the match along with several of her top cabinet members. She was diverted before making it to the stadium, according to Mirror.
Europe is on heightened alert following the terror attacks in Paris on Friday; the bomb scare comes as Europeans try to get their lives back to normal.
The German team was on the pitch just four days earlier against France when several suicide bombers detonated explosives outside the Stade de France.
On Monday, the Belgian squad cited concerns about security when they canceled their match against Spain.
Despite security concerns in other countries, many other international teams took the pitch including France taking on their rival England, even though the British offered to cancel.
"They came out and said, 'Well, look guys, we assume this game's going to be canceled.' But it was the French FA, their president Noel Le Graet, who came out and said, 'No, we want to play,'" Gab Marcotti said.
British fans showed their support for Paris, waving French flags and joining in the singing of their national anthem.
Getting back to playing could provide a welcome return to normalcy for some of the French players. Midfielder Lassana Diarra’s cousin was one of the 89 people killed in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall, and forward Antoine Griezmann's sister escaped the attacks.
This video includes images from Getty Images.
Officials canceled an international friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands after the stadium in Hanover, Germany, was the target of a bomb threat.
“We have received concrete information that someone was planning to set off explosives inside the stadium," the city's chief of police told German media. An official with the German state of Lower-Saxony, Oscar Pistorius, said no explosives had been found at the HDI Arena.
Spiel abgesagt! Hier die Durchsage der Polizei. #GERNED pic.twitter.com/geT9mkSDEQ
Earlier, German newspaper Kreiszeitung said officials had found an ambulance packed full of explosives, kicking off widespread confusion and panic on Twitter.
As the stadium was evacuated roughly 90 minutes before kickoff, residents of the city were told to stay indoors and away from large gatherings of people. "I advise everyone to go home and stay inside your flats," the police chief said. The team was put under police protection.
The #GERNED game has been cancelled. #DieMannschaft are under police protection and have been escorted to a safe place.
A concert hall where the group Söhne Mannheims was due to perform was also evacuated.
BREAKING: According to BILD, the TUI-Arena is now also being evacuated. The Söhne Mannheims pop band were playing there tonight.
This is the second friendly match to be canceled due to security concerns following Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris. Late Monday, officials canceled the scheduled match between Spain and Belgium due to an elevated terror threat level in Belgium.
Surrounded by tight security, tonight's England versus France match at Wembley Stadium in London is currently scheduled to take place as planned.
Although it was billed as one of the blockbuster friendlies, France vs. Germany was overshadowed by some unfortunate events off the pitch. As les Bleus and die Mannschaft faced off in France's capital, some horrific criminal acts were being perpetuated by terrorists across the iconic city, which, as per recent reports, have been attributed to Islamic organization ISIS after they took responsibility for the killings of over 120 people and injuring dozens more.
Before the match against France this past Friday, the reigning World Cup champions were given an awful scare after they had to leave their hotel due to a bomb threat and following the game, had to remain at the Stade de France for their saftey before departing for Germany earlier today following a 2-0 loss to Didier Deschamps's side. As such, there has not been an official confirmation as to whether they will take on the Netherlands in another highly-anticipated friendly clash this Tuesday, Noevember 17th.
As per the DFB, a decision was to be made today, on Sunday, November 15th as to whether the game versus the Oranje will take place as scheduled in Hanover. And now, despite the players still reeling from the shock of what happened in Paris off the pitch, the match is now set to be played as scheduled on Tuesday evening. German chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly set to attend to offer support to the team, fans in attendance, and to send a clear signal that Europe will not be intimidated by terrorists.
Political statements aside, Joachim Low's side will have a totally different look to the one that featured in the Paris friendly. For starters, Manuel Neuer will sit this one out, as will Bastian Schweinsteiger, with both the Bayern Munich and Manchester United stars being given a rest. Another who will not play is striker Lukas Podolski, who will also be joined on the sidelines by Jerome Boateng. As such, with four key players - not including the already injured Mario Gotze and Marco Reus - not featuring, it will indeed be interesting to see what kind of line-up (and which remaining stars) Low opts to deploy for the fans who will be in attendance in a few days' time.Netherlands
In the meantime, their opponents Netherlands recorded a hard-fought win over Wales in their recent friendly to restore a little bit of pride after shockingly failing to qualify for EURO 2016. When the groups were announced last year, the Netherlands were expected to easily book their ticket for France in a pack that included the Czech Republic, Iceland, Turkey, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. Surprisingly, however, they ended up finishing in fourth - a whopping nine behind group winners Czech Republic and nine behind third-placed Turkey.
It has not been an easy time for coach Danny Blind - father of Manchester United's Daley Blind - as Holland will be missing out on their first EURO tournament since the 1984 edition contested in France. However, there is little time for them to brood over this missed opportunity as a win over Germany would be a decent way to close out 2015 with an eye on World Cup 2018 qualifiers coming up next spring.
A notable absence for the visitors will be Robin van Persie, who, despite being his nation's all-time top-scorer, has found himself excluded since his embarrassing showing vs. the Czech Republic, which saw him score a terrible own goal in their disappointing 3-2 loss.
Prior to Tuesday's meeting, Germany and the Netherlands have faced off a total of 49 times, in which nine have been in actual competitive fixtures. The last competitive meetings between die Mannschaft and the Oranje was back during the 2012 EURO tournament, in which Germany defeated their upcoming visitors 2-1; and the last overall meeting concluded as a scoreless stalemate in a November 2012 friendly.
Ever since West Germany defeated the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup final, the rivalry between these two footballing nations has intensified over the past four decades. Will Tuesday's friendly produce a win in favor of Germany or the Netherlands?
Make sure you don't miss out on what should be an interesting clash! And as usual, LiveSoccerTV.com's got you covered, so please bookmark our special Germany vs. Netherlands match page for viewing timse and options for your current location.Germany vs Netherlands TV and Streaming Schedule
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