Germany-Netherlands soccer friendly called off shortly before kickoff after security alert

The friendly soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled at short notice due to the serious threat of an attack at the stadium on Tuesday.

HANNOVER, Germany — The friendly soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled at short notice due to the serious threat of an attack at the stadium on Tuesday.

“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.”

Spectators had only just started entering the Hannover stadium when the evacuation order was given. The order affected mainly stadium staff, match workers, VIP guests, and media.

Members of the German government including Chancellor Angela Merkel had not arrived, but were scheduled 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 the 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.

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 to evacuate came about an hour and a half before kickoff.

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.

Germany press officer Jens Grittner said the team bus was redirected to a “safe place,” and that was all he could say for the moment.

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.

A spokesperson for Lower Saxony Minster Stephan Weil told dpa that Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was to meet with local counterpart Boris Pistorius later Tuesday when the background details would be given at a news conference.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read