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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 16 February, 2019

Chelsea cancel Premier League victory parade following Manchester attack

The club say it wouldn’t be appropriate to go ahead with the planned celebrations on Sunday.

Image: John Walton

PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS Chelsea have cancelled their planned victory parade through London this weekend following Monday night’s attack on Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured scores more.

Antonio Conte’s side will also wear black armbands during Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal in Wembley as a mark of respect for the victims at the Ariana Grande concert.

Another factor in the club’s decision to cancel Sunday’s parade was the announcement that the risk of another terror threat in Britain had been raised to ‘critical’ — the highest level — yesterday.

“Everyone associated with Chelsea Football Club offers our heartfelt condolences to those affected by Monday’s terror attack in Manchester. Our thoughts go out to all the victims, and their families and friends,” an official club statement reads.

“In light of these tragic events, we feel it is inappropriate to go ahead with the victory parade in London on Sunday.

“Given the heightened security threat announced by the Government, and recognising that this is a developing situation, we have given this careful consideration.

“We strongly believe, in the interests of everyone, this is the correct course of action. We are sure our fans will understand this decision.

“Having consulted with the Metropolitan Police, Hammersmith & Fulham Council and other authorities, we know the emergency services would have been as professional as ever, but we would not want in any way to divert important resources by holding an additional, non-ticketed event on the streets of London.

“Furthermore, as a mark of respect, our players will wear black armbands at the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday. Chelsea Football Club will also make a donation to a fund supporting the victims of this horrific attack.”

Meanwhile, the Gunners have announced that they have cancelled plans to screen the FA Cup final at the Emirates following the raising of the security threat, and should they win on Saturday there will be no subsequent parade either.

“We have reluctantly made the decision to cancel the screening of the Emirates FA Cup final on Saturday, May 27 at Emirates Stadium,” an Arsenal club statement explains.

“Should the team win Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, we can also confirm that a victory parade will not take place.

“We did not want to place any additional pressure on police and security services at this time and have been working closely with them ahead of making this decision.”

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Alan Waldron

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