The Germany v Netherlands friendly in Hannover has been called off and the stadium evacuated due to ‘concrete plans for an explosion’, though conflicting reports later left the actual presence of a bomb in doubt.
Journalists attending the game reported on social media that they have been asked to leave the stadium.
Spectators already inside the stadium were asked to leave, a police spokesman and a Lower Saxony interior ministry official said.
Eurosport’s own Florian Bogner confirmed the following:
” People are definitely sent home. Announcements via stadium speakers. No football in Hannover today.”
The decision comes just four days after the deadly attacks in Paris and two hours prior to the scheduled kick-off.
‘Concrete plans’ for an explosion
After not providing an immediate explanation for their decision, the local police later confirmed that they had thwarted legitimate plans for an explosion at the game.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been set to attend along with other government ministers in a show of solidarity with France.
Two Dutch government ministers attending the match – Defence Minister Jeanine Hennes and Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers – were on their way to the airport to return home.
The world champions had initially not wanted the game to go ahead after having played against France in Paris on Friday as a wave of attacks hit the city, killing 129 people.
The contingent of 80 Germans, including players, coaches and staff, then spent the night holed up in the changing rooms of the Stade de France as the attacks took place across the capital, before leaving straight for the airport on Saturday morning.
But the players, coaches as well as the national football association then decided to go ahead with the game in a show of unity with the French.
UPDATE: ‘No bomb, no arrests’
The initial reports, however, were contradicted by a German minister later in the evening.
German police found no explosives and made no arrests in Hannover, the Lower Saxony interior minister said on Tuesday.
“There have been no arrests so far. As for the question whether explosives were found, I can tell you that as for now, no,” Boris Pistorius said during a news conference in the west German city.