Bundesliga to proceed as normal

2015-11-18 20:16
Bundesliga (File)

Hanover - German football authorities are to review security for matches throughout the country following the Paris attacks and a terror alert which forced the cancellation of the international friendly against the Netherlands in Hanover.

The weekend Bundesliga programme which begins Friday evening will not be affected and will go ahead with no changes to the schedule, the German Football League (DFL) confirmed Wednesday.

Local security authorities will decide on what additional security measures might be necessary for each game and remain in close cooperation with the respective clubs, a statement said.

"We have great confidence in the security authorities at federal and state level," Reinhard Rauball, the acting German football federation (DFB) and DFL president, said.

Rauball, also president of Borussia Dortmund, who play at SV Hamburg on Friday evening, said football did not want "to yield to terror" but "the protection of human life has to have the highest priority."

Officials are appealing on fans not to bring fireworks or fire crackers into stadiums. Players at all first and second division games will wear black armbands. A minute's silence will be held before each game in remembrance of the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

Six matches on Saturday include the early evening kick-off between Schalke and champions Bayern Munich, while two matches are scheduled for Sunday.

Several clubs have already said security will be heightened for the games.

Rainer Koch, the DFB's co-interim president, said German football and organizers of other major events would need to assess security in view of the latest developments.

"We have to prepare ourselves accordingly and be aware that this is a dangerous situation," he said.

German national team players went home late Tuesday following the cancellation of their friendly against the Dutch, the latest shock for the world champions following Friday's series of terror attacks in Paris.

The players were on their way to the stadium when the match was cancelled. The German team had on Friday spent the night in the Stade de France north of Paris following their friendly against France. Before the game they had to evacuate their hotel in Paris following a bomb threat.

In a growing debate on security, Hanover president Martin Kind called on the DFL to lead the way in organizing a unified concept for all Bundesliga clubs. The terror attacks "will change football and present us with new challenges," he said.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told dpa there was "no alternative" to continuing with games at the weekend. "We have to show moral courage and should not capitulate," he said.

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm said he would not be intimidated by terror attacks.

"At the weekend I won't have any different feeling than I usually have when I enter the stadium," he said in German newspaper interviews.

"You can't protect yourself from everything. If I thought like that I'd end up not doing anything more in life."

Police union chief Rainer Wendt said the decision to call off Germany's match in Hanover did not mean a greater threat was posed for Bundesliga matches.

"As a result of the situation in general some things have already been put into place whether visible or not," he said.

"Bundesliga games and the complete matchday programme can be mastered by the police."

Sports organizers elsewhere are also reviewing security but are not planning to call off events.

The boxing programme in Hanover Saturday including the bout between Germany's WBO champion Arthur Abraham and Martin Murray of Britain will go ahead as planned, as will the five-day German Masters international indoor riding and show jumping event beginning Wednesday in Stuttgart

Read more on:    bundesliga  |  soccer


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