LONDON — The European governing body for football, UEFA, has confirmed that Wednesday’s Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax will go ahead in Stockholm following a bomb explosion at Manchester Arena in England on Monday evening.
Police are treating the incident in Manchester, which resulted in the deaths of at least 22 people whilst injuring 59 others, as a terrorist attack.
In an official statement, UEFA said there is no intelligence that suggests the Europa League final would be “the target of attacks.”
UEFA, though, requested supporters arrive at the Friends Arena — where the final is scheduled to take place — as early as possible “as detailed checks” would be made.
“UEFA has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project,” a statement read.
The governing body had been working with the Swedish Football Association and stepped up security measures after an ISIS sympathiser drove a hijacked truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm last month.
“A number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm in April.”
UEFA added: “Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential delays in accessing the stadium.”
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin added: “I am deeply saddened by the horrible terrorist attack in Manchester last night.
“It shocks me that so many innocent people lost their lives and I would like to send my condolences to the families of those affected.”
Manchester United footballers including Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have paid tributes to the victims of the attack. Ajax tweeted: “From Amsterdam with love to Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the loved ones of those affected.”
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UEFA is shocked by last night’s attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected.
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 23, 2017
We are deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 23, 2017
From Amsterdam with love to Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the loved ones of those affected.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 23, 2017
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