A friendly soccer game between hosts Germany and Netherlands in Hanover was called off less than two hours before its start on Tuesday, German police said.

Spectators already inside the stadium were asked to leave, a police spokesman and a Lower Saxony interior ministry official said.

They gave no reason for the cancellation of the game, just four days after the deadly attacks in Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been set to attend along with other government ministers in a show of solidarity with France.

Two Dutch government ministers attending the match – Defence Minister Jeanine Hennes and Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers — were on their way to the airport to return home.

The world champions had initially not wanted the game to go ahead after having played against France in Paris on Friday as a wave of attacks hit the city, killing 129 people.

The contingent of 80 Germans, including players, coaches and staff, then spent the night holed up in the changing rooms of the Stade de France stadium as the attacks took place across the capital, before leaving straight for the airport on Saturday morning.

But the players, coaches as well as the national football association then decided to go ahead with the game in a show of unity with the French.