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German clubs stand defiant despite Hanover scare

18 November 2015, 20:38

Berlin - Bundesliga chiefs insist it will be business as usual at German league stadiums across the country this weekend, although security will be tightened in light of Tuesday's bomb scare in Hanover.

On Wednesday, the German Football League (DFL) put out a statement saying all matches in Germany's top two tiers will go ahead as planned.

"We have a lot of faith in the security staff," said DFL president and interim German FA boss Reinhard Rauball.

Also read: Hamburg confirm match as Cologne tighten security

"We don't want to give in to terror, but on the other hand the protection of human life must have the highest priority."

Hamburg will host second-placed Dortmund on Friday in the first of nine top-tier league matches with the main game in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday when Schalke host Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

"At the weekend, I will have no other feelings than usual when I enter the stadium," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told local Munich newspaper TZ.

"You can't really do much to protect yourself, we know that, but if I thought like that, I would do nothing more with my life."

After the national team experienced last Friday's Paris terror attacks first hand, German football was again left shaken when Tuesday's Germany-Netherlands friendly in Hannover was called off due to a bomb threat.

"The (Hamburg-Dortmund) game will go ahead, without question. Any capitulation would cause out-breaks of happiness in Syria and other places," Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"We have to carry on with our lives, or the terrorists have won."

The Bundesliga has been shaken by recent events after Tuesday's international was called off just two hours before kick-off and the stadium was quickly evacuated.

It came less just four days after the German team spent Friday night in the Stade de France stadium as their international friendly took place during a night of deadly attacks across Paris which claimed the lives of at least 129 people.

Security debate

The week's events have sparked a security debate in the German league, but Hanover 96 president Martin Kind called for calm.

"Football will have to deal with a lot of subjects after yesterday, especially about security," said the 71-year-old.

"The DFL must drive the discussion, so that we can all find the answers together."

On Wednesday morning, Hanover called off a training session in preparation for Saturday's match at Borussia Moenchengladbach, due to the previous night's bomb scare in their stadium "for logistical reasons".

"Our game at the weekend will definitely be played and we shouldn't allow ourselves to descend into hectic thinking," said Kind.

Cologne have also announced they will be stepping up security for Saturday's game against Mainz.

"The visible presence of law enforcement officers will increase," said the club in a statement, without going into detail.

But the Cologne coach insists it's business as usual.

"We're planning the week as normal," said Cologne's Peter Stoeger.

"When I stand on the training ground, I just do my job as if we were playing football, we are 100 precent professional."

Mainz president Harald Strutz said his club's current security arrangements are 'sufficient', but admitted recent events have changed things.

"Of course, there is a new dimension to things, but we have to try to not allow football to be destroyed by it," he said.

The bomb scare in Hanover meant a German international was called off for only the third time after fear of rioting in Berlin in 1994 saw a Germany-England match cancelled.

A game against Chile was also cancelled in November 2009 following the suicide of Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke.



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