Wednesday 20 September 2017

Chelsea cancel title victory parade in wake of Manchester terror attack

Premier League champions Chelsea have cancelled their victory parade in London
Premier League champions Chelsea have cancelled their victory parade in London

Chelsea have cancelled Sunday's planned title victory parade in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.

Arsenal have also dropped plans to screen the FA Cup final at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday and they will not hold a parade either should they beat Chelsea at Wembley.

Both clubs have made the decisions to avoid placing an extra burden on police and security services following the Government's decision to raise the national terror threat level to critical.

Meanwhile, Wembley Stadium chiefs have published details of the enhanced security procedures that will be implemented at the FA Cup final and for the League Two and Championship play-off finals.

Players will also wear black armbands and a period of silence will be observed before the matches in tribute to the Manchester victims. Commemorative wreaths will be laid by FA president Prince William and chairman Greg Clarke.

A statement from Chelsea read: "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.

"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."

Chelsea's Player of the Year awards dinner, planned for Sunday evening, will still take place as the ticketed event is confined to one area.

Arsenal, who are seeking a third FA Cup win in four years, echoed those sentiments.

A statement read: "We have reluctantly made the decision to cancel the screening of the Emirates FA Cup final on Saturday, May 27 at Emirates Stadium.

"This follows Tuesday night's announcement by the Prime Minister that the nation's security threat has been placed at critical.

"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."

Wembley authorities have sought to reassure supporters security will be stepped up.

A statement read: "In collaboration with the Metropolitan Police and the local authorities there will be an enhanced security operation for all upcoming events.

"Fans can be assured that all appropriate security measures are in place for the upcoming matches, which includes thorough searches upon entrance to Wembley Stadium, and they are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to avoid any delays in entering the stadium.

"We strongly advise that all supporters arrive at the stadium no later than one hour prior kick-off to be inside for the start of the match and we encourage spectators to not bring any bags or unnecessary items with them."

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