Some 54,000 people had to evacuate their homes while the device was made safe and removed.

Those who took time out of their Christmas celebrations to deal with the situation will now be invited to watch their city's club in Bundesliga action in the new year.

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"The community spirit shown within the city and the many organisations and citizens involved was impressive," said Augsburg's general manager Michael Stroll, who announced his club's gesture.

The club stated on their website: " As a small thank you for the effort and the great trouble, the city of Augsburg and FC Augsburg will invite the more than 4,000 volunteers... to a Bundesliga game in the second half of the season."

Around 1,000 residents were accommodated in the VIP area of the Augsburg Arena as a bomb disposal squad made the area safe.

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