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German stadium evacuated as match v Holland is cancelled

The game was due to be played at the Niedersachsenstadion
The game was due to be played at the Niedersachsenstadion

The football stadium in Hannover due to host tonight’s international friendly between Germany and Holland has been evacuated due to security concerns.

Spectators had started arriving at the stadium, however, just 90 minutes before kick off, officials cancelled the match and made an announcement via loudspeaker, telling fans to leave the stadium and surrounding area.

Police officers secured a scene at Robert-Enke-Strasse after finding a suspicious piece of luggage.

The German football federation (DFB) announced in a short Twitter statement: “The team are in a safe place. The match will not go ahead.”

Its spokesman Jens Grittner wrote on Twitter: “We were on our way into the stadium and were diverted by the police to a safe place. We cannot say more at this time. Please understand.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been due to attend the match in a strength of unity in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Armed officers have been deployed at Wembley Stadium where the French football team is playing England in a friendly tonight.

The Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be among those in the crowd in a show of solidarity after the deadly attacks on Friday night.

London Mayor Boris Johnson will also be in the stadium, and England fans are being encouraged to join in the singing of the French national anthem before kick-off.

French supporters waved Tricolor flags outside the national stadium and displayed banners, including one that read: “Thanks to the world”.

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said he “will take part in any tribute that is fitting”, adding the Prime Minister is “looking forward” to the match.

Labour said Jeremy Corbyn will also be at the match.

More to follow.

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