Germany were scheduled to host the Netherlands in an international friendly later today, but the match has since been canceled after authorities noticed a suspicious-looking piece of luggage inside the stadium. And it’s looking like that might not be the end of it.
Security was already heightened for the game, coming so soon on the heels of the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday that came very close to hitting the Stade de France as the France-Germany match was going on. Ahead of the game, fans and media were not allowed to enter the stadium until police gave the all-clear. Eventually police did allow fans to enter, though not long after they discovered the suspicious object and began evacuation protocols. From the Guardian:
Police spokesman Joerg Hoffmeister told The Associated Press that everyone inside had to be evacuated after the as-yet unidentified object was found. Announcements at the stadium in northern Germany advised people to go home in a calm manner, and that there was no danger to fear. Most fans were still waiting outside when the order to evacuate came about an hour and a half before kick-off. A statement later said fans should leave “quickly , but should go without panic back home. Please go in small groups back home, it’s better this way.”
Right now it’s unclear what exactly is happening in Hannover, where the game was set to be played. A few outlets have reported that a truck bomb disguised as an ambulance was found near the stadium, but that has not been confirmed.
We’ll keep updating the post as more information comes in.
[Update 2:56]: It now appears that what police found in the luggage was some sort of explosive device and the intent was to set it off:
[Update 3:22]: Police have found another suspicious item:
[Update 4:08]: Now word is that whatever was discovered at the stadium wasn’t actually explosive: