Saturday 21 September 2019

Stadium bomb threat forces the cancellation of match in Germany

Police officers at the entrance to the stadium in Hannover
Police officers at the entrance to the stadium in Hannover
A French fan holds up a banner during the match against England at Wembley Stadium last night

Costas Pitas London

A friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands in Hannover was cancelled at short notice last night after a bomb threat.

The security fears also led to the evacuation of a music venue where a concert was set to take place.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been expected to attend the match.

Hannover's chief of police said authorities received a warning about a possible bomb threat shortly before the match in the main Hannover stadium. The stadium was evacuated and the game was cancelled.

Police chief Volker Kluwe told German public broadcaster NDR that the alleged threat involved the "detonation of explosives in the stadium".

He said the "key warning reached us about 15 minutes before the gates opened".

Germany's national football squad was taken to a "safe place" by police.

A German security official later denied reports that explosives were found outside the football stadium. Boris Pistorius, the interior minister for Lower-Saxony state, also told reporters that there had been no arrests in the case.

At the music venue that was also evacuated, concertgoers had been waiting for the band Soehne Mannheims to play.

Meanwhile, English soccer fans saluted France last night by roaring out the 'Marseillaise' national anthem at a friendly match which became a show of solidarity joined by British politicians and royalty.

David Cameron and Prince William were in the stands as tens of thousands of England supporters joined French fans in singing their anthem at Wembley Stadium, which was guarded by armed police.

About 70,000 fans then applauded wildly as the two teams stood together in one long line ahead of a perfectly observed minute's silence in a solemn mark of respect for the people who were killed in Paris.

Irish Independent

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