Soccer match canceled: Germany Netherlands Match Canceled
Published: November 17, 2015
Soccer match canceled: Germany Netherlands Match Canceled, Germany’s exhibition soccer match against the Netherlands was canceled less than two hours before kickoff on Tuesday, becoming the second marquee game called off in two days in increasingly edgy Europe.
The cancellation of Germany’s home game against the Netherlands in Hanover came after the police found a suspicious object, The Associated Press reported. Hanover’s police chief, Volker Kluwe, told German television that there was “concrete evidence” of plans to detonate an explosive device in the stadium.
A stadium announcement told fans who had entered the Niedersachsenstadion – which seats more than 40,000 for international matches – to leave. The evacuation came after an earlier incident, also involving a suspicious package, caused a delay in the opening of the gates. The majority of the crowd had not entered when the order was given to empty the stadium.
German government officials, including the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said no explosive devices had been found inside the stadium and no arrests had been made. Mr. de Maizière said increasing signs of a credible threat of an attack had led to the cancellation, but he declined to elaborate.
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, had planned to attend the match but had not arrived before it was called off.
After the cancellation, further announcements urged fans milling outside to move away from the stadium. They had to do so on foot, however, after the police stopped trains and public transportation departing the area.
Germany’s team, which had boarded its bus and was on the way to the stadium, was directed away by the police and was being held in a “safe place,” according to a Twitter message posted by the team spokesman Jens Grittner.
The cancellation came one day after officials from Belgium’s soccer federation called off a friendly with Spain that had been set for Tuesday in Brussels amid security concerns and after consultations with the Spanish federation. French officials investigating Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris – including several explosions outside the Stade de France, where France was playing Germany – have linked those attacks to suspects from Belgium.
France’s game against England at London’s Wembley Stadium began as scheduled.
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