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‘Suspect package’ mars Manchester vs Bournemouth derby

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Manchester United ’s match against Bournemouth postponed

Manchester United’s last game of the season against Bournemouth has been abandoned after police located a suspect package at Old Trafford.

The suspect package was discovered by a steward, at which point the police were brought in, and Police advice, the match was abandoned.

The match was then abandoned after the Stratford End and Sir Alex Ferguson stands were completely evacuated.

Afterwards, fans in the remaining parts of the stadium were filtered out at a slower pace.

An announcement was made to those outside Old Trafford that the game had been called off as fans were advised to start returning home. 

It is thought the club wanted to disperse those supporters before then allowing the remaining fans in the ground to leave.

United officials later confirmed that the game would not take place as fans and the media were escorted from the vicinity of the ground.

“Due to the discovery of a suspect package in the North-West Quadrant of the ground, the match has been abandoned today on police advice,” the club said in a statement.

“People in the stadium are asked to remain in their seats while the forecourt is cleared of fans already evacuated from the stadium. 

“Further announcements will be made ASAP.”

Police and sniffer dogs were in the ground after they were told about the package which could be a mobile phone device Police and sniffer dogs were in the ground after they were told about the package which could be a mobile phone device 

Around 20,000 supporters were ushered out of The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stratford End stands before the match.

A ‘suspect package’ was identified in the north-west corner of the ground, according to reports both online and on Sky Sports.

United opted to call off the game on the advice of Greater Manchester Police.

That was after high level talks between officers, the club’s security staff and senior officials, including group managing director Richard Arnold.

The Premier League said that the match would be rearranged as soon as possible.

However, early reports have suggested it could be postponed until after next Saturday’s FA Cup final between United and Crystal Palace.

“The Premier League will seek to rearrange the fixture as soon as practically possible and will advise fans accordingly,” a statement read.

“It is always the last resort to abandon one of the fixtures and while we apologise for the inconvenience caused to fans we are sure, in the circumstances, they will appreciate the need to do so.”

Manchester United‘s Marouane Fellaini was due to serve the final match of a 3-game ban for violent conduct today against Bournemouth. 

The implication is that if the game is not rescheduled until after the Cup final, Fellaini would face the prospect of missing the Wembley FA Cup final.

Fellaini had been banned after elbowing Robert Huth in United’s 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City.

[Sportsmo]

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