Manchester United game canceled as bomb-like device at Old Trafford

Published Sunday, May 15, 2016 1:21 PM by Shane Barrow

As if the final day of the 2015-2016 English Premier League season did not have enough to take in Americans woke to the news of a bomb-like device found inside Old Trafford in Manchester.  Just as we were settling onto our couch to watch the final games we were greeted with news of a "situation" at famed Old Trafford.  What the heck?  Instead of the fight for the top 6 places in the EPL the dominating news of the day was a potential terror attack.

The match between ManU and Bournemouth was at first delayed for forty five minutes, but soon after canceled altogether.  The Stretford End and Sir Alex Ferguson Stand were evacuated at around 2:40pm after an announcement was made for security personnel to invoke "operation red code." The 75,000-capacity stadium was around half full at the time of the initial announcement. Bomb sniffing dogs and explosive experts began sweeping the grounds after a device was discovered in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stands.  The bomb was not confirmed but was described as an "incredibly lifelike explosive device" be authorities.

A statement issued by United read: "Due to the discovery of a suspect package in the North-West Quadrant of the Old Trafford ground, the match against Bournemouth has been abandoned today on police advice. Before the controlled explosion took place, Greater Manchester Police assistant chief constable John O'Hare justified the abandonment by saying in a statement: "We don't make these decisions lightly and we have done this today to ensure the safety of all those attending.''

"The Premier League will seek to rearrange the fixture as soon as practically possible and will advise fans accordingly. It is always the last resort to abandon one of our 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."

The delay has significant consequences for Manchester United as they have the FA Cup Final next weekend in London and many of the players also have the European Championship just around the corner.  Rescheduling this match will be a difficulty.