HANOVER, Germany – Germany’s Lower Saxony Police Chief Volker Kluwe told Germany’s public broadcaster NDR, “We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device inside the stadium.” The tip from federal authorities forced the cancellation of the Netherlands-Germany match about one-and-a-half hours before game time.
The “serious plans” forced the evacuation of the stadium in Hanover, Germany, on Tuesday night before a Netherlands-Germany friendly soccer match, the police chief for Germany’s Lower Saxony region told Germany’s public broadcaster NDR.
The German national team tweeted that the game had been canceled, and “#DieMannschaft are under police protection and have been escorted to a safe place.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and at least three other top government officials were expected to attend the match, Merkel’s office said.
The incident comes four days after three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis during a soccer match between France and Germany. The bombers died in the explosions, as did one bystander. That was one of several terror attacks across the French capital Friday night that killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more.
France and England were still scheduled to play a friendly soccer match Tuesday night at London’s Wembley Stadium. Leading up to the game, London police increased their presence around the stadium and at several busy areas, such as transport hubs, across the British capital.