BREAKING NEWS: Germany versus Netherlands cancelled


Germany's international friendly against Netherlands at the HDI-Arena has been cancelled, Hannover police have confirmed.

The German Football Association (DFB) announced on Sunday that the match would go ahead, despite the national team spending Friday night inside the Stade de France in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday, reports of a suspicious package inside the stadium prompted fresh security fears and police issued a statement less than two hours before kick-off instructing fans already in attendance to leave the stadium.

"The friendly match tonight has been cancelled," police said in an announcement shared across social media and over the public address system inside the ground. 

"Please leave quietly but quickly to the nearest exit and go home."

Police later added: "More information about the reasons will be shared with you in due course."

German chancellor Angela Merkel was due to attend the match.

Hannover's mayor Stefan Schostok told SID: "Security is always first. It is a fear you always have. I trust the police that they made the right decision. If there is a dangerous situation, those steps must be taken."

Earlier on Tuesday, Robert-Enke Strasse outside the stadium was closed but later re-opened after police confirmed a "suspicious object turned out to be harmless" - allowing fans to approach the venue.

Terrorist attacks across six locations in Paris killed 129 people on Friday night.

Three suicide bombers detonated explosive belts in the vicinity of the Stade de France, killing a further victim, during Germany's 2-0 loss to France.

French Secretary of State for Sport Thierry Braillard confirmed that bombers targeting the Saint-Denis venue tried to get inside the arena.

Joachim Low's team did not fly home to Frankfurt until the next morning, having spent the night in the ground, amid safety fears.

At his pre-match news conference, Low backed the original decision to proceed with the match against Netherlands.

"Upon our arrival in Frankfurt, I didn't think the game against the Netherlands could, or would, go ahead," he said.

"After sleeping on it, it was clear that the game must go ahead - also in solidarity with our French friends.

"We will think of the victims, the relatives and all of France tomorrow night in Hannover."

Belgium's game against Spain in Brussels, also scheduled for Tuesday night, was cancelled due to security fears but France's match against England will go ahead, with tributes to the victims of the Paris attacks set to take place before kick-off.