German football authorities have decided that the national team will play a friendly as planned against the Netherlands on Tuesday. The decision is clear refusal to be cowed by the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed that the country’s national team will play its Tuesdday friendly against the Netherlands in the northern German city of Hannover on Tuesday.
“The message is clear: we will not allow ourselves to be intimidaed by terrorism,” Joint Acting DFB President Reinhard Raubal said in a statement on the organization’s homepage. “The fact that the team is taking the field against the Netherlands only a few days after the horrible experiences during the game in Paris is a clear signal. National coach Joachim Löw and every individual player on the team deserve respect for this demonstration of solidarity with the victims and the entire French people.”
The decision came after the French national team decided to go ahead with a friendly of its own against England. National team manager Oliver Bierhoff said it was important for Germany to follow suit.
“We wanted as a team to make a statement of solidarity with the French people and the relatives of the victims,” Bierhoff said on the DFB homepage. “The whole team – the players, the coaches and the assistants – are still quite shocked. Neverlesstheless, everyone knows that it’s important to send a signal and stand up as a national team for our values and culture”
Germany’s Bild newspaper reported on Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her cabinet intended to attend the friendly on Tuesday.
“Democracy has to defend itself – we all need to stand up to terrorism together,” Rauball’s fellow acting DFB President Rainer Koch told German television earlier on Sunday. “Right now, football has an important social and political function.”
The Dutch football association (KNVB) has said that Bondscoach Danny Blind will travel to Hannover with 20 players on Monday.
The German national team was forced to spend the night in the Stade de France on Friday evening after the attacks, which claimed at least 127 lives. Three suicide bombers detonated explosives in the immediate vicinity of the stadium during a friendly between the German and French national teams. On Sunday, the French sports daily L’Equipe reported that two of them had tried to gain access to the stadium.