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Germany-Netherlands football match canceled after 'serious' bomb threat

Football fans were instructed to calmly go home [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 November, 2015

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German police have cancelled a Germany-Netherlands football match due Tuesday evening that was meant to honour the Paris attack victims, citing a "serious" bomb threat.

German police have cancelled a Germany-Netherlands football match due Tuesday evening that was meant to honour the Paris attack victims, citing a "serious" bomb threat.

There had been "a concrete threat scenario for all of Hanover," police chief Volker Kluwe told public broadcaster NDR, adding there had been "serious plans to cause an explosion".

Thousands of fans were evacuated, without signs of panic, from Hanover's 49,000-capacity HDI Arena, where the German national side had been due to play a friendly against the Netherlands.

Members of the German government including Chancellor Angela Merkel were expected to attend the game but had not arrived when the evacuation started.

The German team was playing France last Friday when players and fans were shaken by the blasts of jihadist suicide bombers outside the venue that echoed through the Stade de France.

Head coach Joachim Loew had called the planned match "a clear message and symbol of freedom and a demonstration of compassion, as well as sorrow, for our French friends - not only in France, but throughout the world".

Before the match, players were practising the French anthem "La Marseillaise", which they had been set to sing in a sign of solidarity with France.

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