BERLIN, November 19 – Germany’s football chief Thursday urged fans to refrain from setting off fireworks at matches after a bomb threat forced the cancellation of a friendly with the Netherlands this week.
“Fireworks are essentially banned anyway because they carry major risks,” Reinhard Rauball, interim president of the Germany Football Association, told Bild newspaper.
“Using them during the sensitive time that we currently find ourselves in would be the height of irresponsibility.”
Rauball also said he thought attackers were not targeting football specifically but trying to “get the highest amount of attention possible”.
And he shrugged off fears that Germany’s national team could be a target.
“Authorities in charge of security say that there are no such indications. It is very important for us to avoid intentionally or unintentionally sparking fears that play into the hands of terrorists,” he said.
The German team was playing France in Paris last Friday when players and fans were shaken by the blasts of three suicide bombers outside the Stade de France that echoed through the venue.
Head coach Joachim Loew admitted that he and the team had considered dropping a planned friendly with the Netherlands on Tuesday following the attacks, but finally decided to go ahead with the game to send a clear message of freedom.
However, the game was called off at the last minute as police said there had been serious plans to cause an explosion in the stadium.
Hamburg is meanwhile scheduled to play Borussia Dortmund Friday, the first of the weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures after the Hanover bomb scare.
Bayern Munich, which play host to Olympiakos Piraeus on Tuesday, have said they will tighten security.
“There will be intensive and extensive checks,” said Jan-Christian Dreesen, acting chair of Bayern, who is also in charge of security.
He would not give further details, but asked spectators to expect delays during the admission process at the stadium.