STOCKHOLM: A one-minute silence will be held and players will wear black armbands at the Europa League Final tonight between Manchester United and Ajax Amsterdam.
This follows the criminal bomb attack which killed 22 people, many of them children, and injured more than 60 at the end of a pop concert in Manchester on Monday night.
A suicide bomber, identified Salman Abedi, the British son of Libyran refugees, exploded a device in the foyer of the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande. He was among the dead.
European federation UEFA decided to cut back on pre-match ceremonials at the Europa League Final and organise a one-minute’s silence before the final.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin issued his own message of regret, saying: “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.”
A statement about general match security said: “There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League Final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.
“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. Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April.
“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.”
A United statement said: “We are deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.” The club cancelled its scheduled pre-final press conference.
United players past and present also issued messages of condolence and support to the bereaved and injured via social media. Ajax added, via the club’s English Twitter account: “From Amsterdam with love to Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the loved ones of those affected.”
The mainstream political parties have maintained their suspension of campaigning in the General Election as a mark of respect.