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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 18 April 2021

Man United's final game of season abandoned after 'suspect package' found at Old Trafford

The army bomb disposal unit has carried out a controlled explosion.

Stewards and police officers stand outside Old Trafford.
Stewards and police officers stand outside Old Trafford.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated at 4.45pm

MANCHESTER UNITED’S FINAL game of the Premier League season has been abandoned after a ‘suspect package’ was found inside Old Trafford.

Two stands at the ground were evacuated just minutes before the game was due to kick-off at 3pm.

Fans in the Stretford End and the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand of the ground were quickly ushered to the exits after ‘an incident’ with a tannoy announcement saying ‘operation code red’ was in full effect.

It was later confirmed by Man United that a ‘suspect package’ was found in the North West corner of Old Trafford.

There was no initial indication of the seriousness of the incident but by the scheduled kick-off time, stewards outside the ground were telling supporters that the game had been abandoned and, within minutes, the decision was confirmed by police.

Greater Manchester Police have asked people to avoid the area while the army bomb disposal squad has since arrived and carried out a controlled explosion.

“Due to the discovery of a suspect package in the north-west quadrant of the ground, the match has been abandoned for today on police advice,” a club statement read.

“People in the stadium are advised to remain in their seats while the forecourt is cleared of fans evacuated from the stadium. Further announcements will be made as soon as possible.”

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford Police used sniffer dogs to search the stands. Source: Martin Rickett

The club held up announcing the decision to fans remaining in two other stands for another 10 minutes, to avoid congestion outside the ground. By 3.15pm, the remaining parts of Old Trafford were evacuated.

The players were taken off the pitch midway through their warm-up and have only since left the stadium.

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford Over 20,000 fans were told to leave the stadium approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time. Source: Martin Rickett

The Premier League has released a statement, confirming that the game will be rearranged ‘as soon as practically possible’ and has apologised to fans for abandoning the fixture.

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Ryan Bailey

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