An armed police officer stands on duty outside Manchester Piccadilly train station in Manchester, northwest England on May 24, 2017, following the May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena. Police on Tuesday named Salman Abedi — reportedly British-born of Libyan descent — as the suspect behind a suicide bombing that ripped into young fans at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22, as the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage. CHRIS J RATCLIFFE / AFP
Chelsea have cancelled a victory parade scheduled for Sunday in London in the light of Monday’s bomb attack in Manchester.
Antonio Conte’s side won the English Premier League title last Sunday and could claim the double by winning Saturday’s English FA Cup final match at Wembley.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that thousands of fans were expected to turn out for the parade.
“In light of these tragic events, we feel it is inappropriate to go ahead with the victory parade in London on Sunday,” the club said in a statement.
“Given the heightened security threat announced by the (British) government, and recognising that this is a developing situation, we have given this careful consideration,” it said.
“We strongly believe, in the interests of everyone, this is the correct course of action. We are sure our fans will understand this decision.”
The club said black armbands would be worn by the players in Saturday’s final against Arsenal and that a donation would be made to a fund supporting the victims.
Arsenal later also announced that they were cancelling a planned screening of the final match, to have been staged at their Emirates Stadium.
The club also said there would be no victory parade were they to beat Chelsea.
“As always, the safety of our supporters and staff is paramount and we are in close contact with security services,” chief executive Ivan Gazidis said.
“After taking their advice we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the screening and potential parade. We are sorry for any disappointment this causes but it is in everyone’s best interests.”
An Islamist suicide bomber blew himself up and killed 22 people at a packed pop concert at Manchester Arena on Monday.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Theresa May’s government announced that the security threat level had been raised to “critical” as the bomber, Salman Abedi, had probably not acted alone.