France And England Play Friendly Match, Two Other Soccer Games Canceled

· Nov. 18, 2015, 12:59 am

France and England played their friendly match at London’s Wembley Stadium as scheduled Tuesday night, with England winning 2-0, but other soccer matches in Europe were canceled over security concerns.

NPR’s Newscast reported that in Hanover, Germany, officials citing “concrete information” about a possible terrorist plot canceled the game between Germany and the Netherlands hours before it was supposed to begin and evacuated anyone already in the stadium.

Dirk Tietenberg, the sports editor for the Neue Presse, who was at the stadium when it was evacuated, spoke to the BBC:

“The minister of the interior of Germany, Thomas de Maiziere, told us it was a really dangerous situation and they were forced to cancel the match,” he said. “So we don’t really know what was going on there.”

Members of the German government including Chancellor Angela Merkel were scheduled to attend.

On Monday, Belgian soccer officials postponed a friendly against Spain that was scheduled for Tuesday night in Brussels, owing to increased security concerns following the attacks in Paris.

Elsewhere in Europe, other games took place as scheduled.

Notably, Turkey and Greece played a friendly in Istanbul, the first time the neighboring countries with a hostile past have met on the field in eight years. The teams drew 0-0.

The match, billed as a symbol of reconciliation between the nations, was marred by fans who disrupted the moment of silence for the victims in the Paris attacks. According to Reuters and other reports, Turkish fans booed during the moment of silence before the start of the game.

The pre-match moment of silence before England and France’s game, however, was uninterrupted and followed the collective singing of France’s national anthem. Many fans in the stands held signs and banners in support of the victims of the Paris attacks, and the famous arch above Wembley was lit up in the colors of the French flag.

England’s prime minister, David Cameron, and Prince William were also in attendance at the game.

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