European showpiece takes place in the Swedish capital, an increasing jihadi hotspot, less than two days after a bomb killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester
ANTI-TERROR cops have thrown an impenetrable ring of steel around Manchester United’s Europa League final in Stockholm amid heightened fears of another terror attack.
Uefa officials have confirmed European showpiece WILL go ahead in the Swedish capital, an increasing jihadi hotspot, less than two days after a bomb killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
EPAAnti-terror security measures have been put in place outside the Friends Arena to stop any kind of attack
But the mood among travelling fans was sombre in the wake of an attack which injured dozens and cast a shadow on the city.
EPAThe 50,000-capacity Friends Arena in Stockholm will host tomorrow night’s Euroap League final between Manchester United and Ajax
EPAA worker wheels out security equipment at the Friends Arena in Stockholm
EPAGround workers make adjustments to security measures ahead of tomorrow night’s Europa League final in StockholmSecurity on high alert as Manchester United to face Ajax in Europa League final
Manchester United and City officials and players - as well as Ajax - have expressed an outpouring of sympathy in reaction to last night's harrowing news.
Uefa football chiefs are expected to insist the game must go on but players from both sides are expected to wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence before kick-off.
A heavy police presence has dominated Stockholm since Monday, with police helicopters circling the skies and armoured cars patrolling the streets.
And fears of crowd trouble among boozed-up fans took a back seat as the world of football stood defiantly in the face of terror.
Getty ImagesManchester United are due to take on Ajax in the Europa League final
PA:Press AssociationManchester United and Ajax are set to go head to head in the Europa League final just 48 hours after the terror attacks at a concert in Manchester
Getty ImagesThe Friends Arena is due to host the showpiece final in Sweden
London News PicturesAt least 22 people have been killed during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester
AP:Associated PressSwedish police are on high alert following attacks in the city in recent months
EPAThe Stockholm force Svensk Polis have been on high alert after an Uzbek asylum seeker drove a lorry into shoppers in April
Reds players will fly into Stockholm this afternoon and leave straight after the game tomorrow night, while their wags fly in tomorrow morning and leave tomorrow night.
United are having meetings with Uefa this morning in a bid to wear black armbands during the final.
Flags at Old Trafford have been lowered to half mast as the city unites over the incident.
A Manchester United spokesman said: "We are reviewing our security plans and have been working through the night. Meetings will take place today to decide how to proceed."
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been advising fans to be vigilant in Stockholm and turn up to the match early because of security checks.
A spokesperson said: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Sweden. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
“There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
“You will need to have your ID card or passport with you on the day of the final so that your identity can be checked against the details provided with your application.
“If you’re a ticket holder and not in possession of valid ID card or a passport, you will not be allowed in to the stadium.
“If you lose your passport while in Stockholm, you’ll need to apply for an Emergency Travel Document from the British Embassy in Stockholm.
“Manchester United fans should use entrance A, Y, K and H at the south east corner of the arena
“Please note that entry to the stadium can be slow - there will be ticket checks and body searches at the entrance to the turnstiles, get to the stadium early - doors will open three hours before kick-off.”
UEFA is shocked by last night's attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected.
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.Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham pays tribute to victims of the Manchester Arena explosion