Police Cancel Soccer Match in Germany Due to Bomb Threat, Residents Told to Stay Home

Police say they got a “concrete warning” that an attack on the stadium was planned.

Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/AP

A friendly match between Germany and Netherlands in Hannover, Germany, was canceled less than 90 minutes before kickoff due to a bomb threat Tuesday. “We have concrete indications that someone intended to set off explosives in the stadium,” the Hannover police chief told the press.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leading politicians planned to attend the game in an act of defiance against last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Fans had already entered the stadium and were asked to leave by police, according to the BBC and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Police said they got the warning 15 minutes after the stadium opened its doors. The police chief, Volker Kluwe, said there was a “dangerous situation” across Hannover, one of Germany’s largest cities, and urged people to stay home.

Suicide bombers detonated three bombs near the Stade de France in Paris on Friday during the series of terrorist attacks that killed 129 people. France was hosting Germany in another match that evening when the bombers struck during the first half. One of the bombers had a ticket to the match, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, but was stopped by security from entering the stadium itself. France is scheduled to play a friendly against England in London tonight. No threats have been reported and the game was scheduled to start at 8:00 pm London time as planned.