Germany Netherlands match canceled

A football match between Germany and Holland in the city of Hanover was cancelled 91 minutes before kick-off after police received “concrete information” of a terror attack in the stadium.

Angela Merkel and other leading politicians were due to attend the friendly match on Tuesday, which had been advertised as a gesture of solidarity towards the victims of the Paris attacks.

At a press conference in Hanover, the German interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said that the decision to call off the match was made after “an increase in tip-offs in the early evening”, but refused to comment further on the source and extent of the threat. However, some German media said the warning had come from a foreign intelligence agency.

“It was an extremely tough decision to cancel the match, which was made after many pieces of information indicated a concrete threat,” De Maizière said.

Announcements at the stadium in northern Germany advised people to go home in a calm manner and that there was no danger, the Associated Press reported. Most fans were still waiting outside when the order to evacuate came. There were no signs of panic, with most fans seemingly accepting the decision with resignation. Police became more forceful with members of the media who attempted to stay beside the stadium.

Security at the stadium was tight. Police were armed with machine guns and maintained an obvious presence in the city. Reporters arriving for the game were searched, while a sniffer dog was deployed to check their bags.