Unexploded WWII bomb to be defused near German soccer stadium

An unexploded World War II bomb is set to be defused on Friday after it was found near the home of Bundesliga soccer club Mainz 05.

A statement from the city of Mainz said the 500-kilogram (1,102-pound) American bomb was found during construction work on Wednesday, before the local area was evacuated.

Mainz 05’s MEWA Arena sits just outside the 750m (roughly 2,460 feet) evacuation radius, but the club moved its Friday press conference to Thursday after the discovery.

The club shop at the stadium will also be closed Friday when the bomb is being defused, according to the team.

The club is set to host FC Köln on Sunday as both teams fight to avoid relegation this season. Mainz 05 told CNN Sport the game will not be impacted by the discovery.

The team currently sits 15th in the league, just outside the relegation zone on goal difference. FC Köln sits 17th, five points off of Mainz.

It’s unclear how long it will take to defuse and dispose of the bomb, but around 3,500 people are thought to have been impacted by the evacuation, the city said. Work on defusing the bomb began midday local time.

The presence of unexploded World War II ordnance in Germany is common enough that companies often hire private bomb disposal teams to check that sites are safe when construction is planned.

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