Tighter security for Bundesliga stadiums

HANOVER • A bomb threat which forced Germany's friendly against the Netherlands to be cancelled on Tuesday will have an impact on security at Bundesliga grounds, according to the joint acting German FA president Reinhard Rauball.

"My impression is that football in Germany has taken a different turn in many facets," he said. "This is a sad day for German football."

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere took the decision to call off the international friendly, based on a "concrete threat", two hours before kick-off in Hanover.

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My impression is that football in Germany has taken a different turn in many facets.

REINHARD RAUBALL, joint acting president of the German FA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was rushed back to Berlin and thousands of fans had to be evacuated from the stadium.

Both the German and Dutch team buses were turned back, as they were five minutes from the stadium when the game was called off.

Rauball said the German players were rushed back to their team hotel under police escort once the game was called off.

The team were then dispersed, with Bayern Munich players being flown directly to Munich, while the rest of the squad who lived closer were bused home with friends and family.

"I have a lot of respect for the decision, I know how hard it was to make - and protecting people has to take the highest priority," said Rauball.

He said the bomb threat will have repercussions at top-flight grounds across Germany.

Security is set to be a key factor at stadiums around the country with a full programme of nine matches set to take place over this weekend.

In Gelsenkirchen on Saturday, Schalke will host star-studded German league leaders Bayern Munich at their 78,996 capacity stadium.

But de Maiziere said Germany is not prepared to live in fear of a terrorist threat.

"We want to go to the stadium, visit Christmas markets and attend public celebrations and that is what we will still do," the minister said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'Tighter security for Bundesliga stadiums'. Print Edition | Subscribe