Addressing unspoken questions about how the cancellation of the Germany-Netherlands match in Hannover would impact the coming weekend of Bundesliga football, the German Football League (DFL) has released a statement to announce there are no changes planned for either of the top two divisions of German football.
Despite the violent events of Friday night in Paris, which included an attempt by terrorists to gain entry to the France-Germany match at Stade de France, the DFB had decided the best course of action was to not cancel the coming friendly with their Dutch neighbors set for Tuesday at HDI Arena. Reports of suspicious activity near the stadium and on public transport triggered an evacuation of the football venue shortly before its scheduled start.
Though football authorities have opted to continue league play as scheduled, game-day management will be left to local authorities necessarily in consideration of public safety.
“We have great confidence in the federal and state security authorities. On the one hand, we do not want to succumb to terror. Yet, on the other, top priority must be given to protecting human life,” said Bundesliga president Dr. Reinhard Rauball.
Along with the announcement came a call for fans to consider the tense atmosphere surrounding public gatherings in the wake of the recent terror attacks, calling specifically for supporters to refrain from the use of pyrotechnics while attending matches.
Roger Lewentz, chairman of the conference of German state ministers for the interior, pleaded, “I would like to expressly send out the following appeal to the fans: I know that many of them enjoy using pyrotechnics and firecrackers during matches. While I consider this to be a dubious pleasure even in the best of times, in the current situation, it would be nothing short of negligent. So, dear fans, please leave your pyrotechnics at home and help the police in this difficult security situation.”
Though Tuesday’s match seems now to have been a victim, at least in part, due to a hoax bomb left on a train, decisions are continuing to be made with consideration of rapidly changing intelligence from both domestic and foreign entities, while clubs will continue to consult with their usual security resources to assure the safest-possible atmosphere for football fans.
“We have established excellent security structures over the last few years. Thanks to the intensive collaboration with the security agencies, clubs are able to rely on fully functioning networks, says Hendrik Große Lefert, security officer of Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB). “Ahead of the upcoming match day, we will again be stressing the importance of paying particular attention to conducting a risk analysis. Whether and, if so, what precautions are necessary will be determined at the individual venues.”
German club football in the top two leagues is set to resume play Friday with a trio of 2. Bundesliga matches preceding the Friday night tilt in Hamburg between Borussia Dortmund and Hamburger SV.
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