Netherlands-Germany match cancelled after bomb threat

German police cancel Netherlands-Germany friendly match in Hanover due to 'concrete' bomb threat

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Heavy armed police patrol in front of the stadium after the match was called off by police due to a security threat

A friendly football match between Germany and the Netherlands was called off two hours before its scheduled start on Tuesday, in host city Hanover after police said they received a “concrete” bomb threat.

"We had received specific indications that an attack with explosives was planned," Hanover Police President Volker Kluwe told NDR state broadcaster.

"We took them seriously and that is why we took the measures."

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said German police had found no explosives and made no arrests in Hanover over fears of a bomb attack.

"There have been no arrests so far. As for the question whether explosives were found, I can tell you that as for now, no," Pistorius said during a news conference in the west German city.

The stadium was evacuated and two Dutch government ministers, Defence Minister Jeanine Hennes and Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers, were escorted to safety for a flight home.

German police also evacuated TUI multi-purpose arena where a concert was about to start in Hanover.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the threat was credible and calling off the match was the right thing to do, but did not provide any details.

The match would be played four days after deadly attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people on Friday. Suicide bombers targeted the stadium where Germany-France match was being played.

After the attacks in Paris, German police took tight measures in Hanover. In a show of solidarity, Merkel was set to attend the match with Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and several government ministers.

"We were re-routed on our way to the stadium and are now in a safe area," German team spokesman Jens Grittner said on Twitter.

"We cannot say more at this moment."

TRTWorld and agencies