Terror in Germany as soccer match against Holland gets cancelled due to bomb threat

Germany vs Netherlands - International Friendly - HDI Arena, Hanover, Germany - 17/11/15.Reuters

A soccer game between hosts Germany and Netherlands which German Chancellor Angel Merkel was due to attend in Hanover was called off two hours before its scheduled start on Tuesday over fears of a planned bombing.

Hanover Police President Volker Kluwe said there were "specific indications" of a planned attack with explosives at the game. "We had received specific indications that an attack with explosives was planned," Kluwe told NDR state broadcaster.

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

Police vans with loudspeakers ordered fans to leave the stadium as heavily armed officers positioned themselves outside the arena.

"The visitors (spectators), who were already in the stadium at that time, were asked to leave the stadium without panicking," police said in a brief statement.

Apart from stadium, police also evacuated Hanover's TUI multi-purpose arena where a concert was about to start.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was to hold a news conference later on Tuesday to provide more information.

After the attacks in Paris on Friday, some of which targeted the stadium where Germany was playing France in the French capital, security measures in Hanover had been tight.

Merkel was set to attend with Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and several government ministers, in a show of solidarity with France.

"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."

Two Dutch government ministers attending the match – Defence Minister Jeanine Hennes and Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers — were returning home.

World champions Germany had not initially wanted the game to go ahead after having played 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 stadium, before heading for the airport on Saturday morning.

But the players, coaches as well as the national football association then decided to go ahead with the Hanover game in a gesture of solidarity with France.