Due to the discovery of a suspect package in the North-West Quadrant of the Old Trafford ground, Manchester United’s match against Bournemouth was abandoned on police advice.
People in the stadium were asked to remain in their seats while the forecourt was cleared of fans who had already been evacuated from the stadium.
Bomb disposal teams conducted an assessment of the suspicious device at Old Trafford and a controlled explosion was then carried out by experts within the stadium.
Greater Manchester Police released this statement at 18:11 BST on Sunday night via their official Twitter account: “Controlled explosion carried out at OT on what is described as incredibly lifelike explosive device. Assessment now concluded and found device wasn’t viable. Full search of stadium ongoing.”
Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare had earlier commented: “We are doing everything we can to investigate this item as quickly as possible, however our priority is obviously to ensure the safety of everyone in the stadium and surrounding area. As a result, today’s game has been abandoned.
“We don’t make these decisions lightly and we have done this today to ensure the safety of all those attending. I am thankful for everyone’s support and assistance and we will continue to provide updates on this matter as soon as they become available.”
Further announcements will be made as soon as possible.