UEFA confirm Europa League final to go ahead but will increase security in wake of Manchester attack
European football’s governing body, UEFA, have confirmed that the Europa League1 final between Manchester United2 and Ajax3 in Stockholm will go ahead following the tragic events at Manchester Arena on Monday night. A terror attack4 at an Ariana Grande concert left 22 people dead and 59 injured. UEFA have two major finals in the next 11 days, with Wednesday’s clash followed by the pinnacle of the European season on Saturday week – the Champions League final in Cardiff.
They have been liaising with Swedish police ahead of the match in Stockholm for a number of months, increasing their detail following the Stockholm terror attack5 in April, which left five people dead and 15 other injured when a hijacked truck was eliberately driven into crowds along Drottninggatan,. Seeking to allay fears, UEFA have stated that there is “currently no specific intelligence” that the final will be targeted. UEFA have urged supporters travelling to the Friends Arena that “detailed checks” will take place upon arrival.
Stockholm’s Friends Arena (Photo: Getty) A pitchside view (Photo: 2017 Getty Images)
“UEFA is shocked by last night’s attack in Manchester .
Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected,” read the statement.
“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 in accessing the stadium.”
United fly out to the Swedish capital on Tuesday, ahead of the clash with the Dutch giants .
They are expected to ask UEFA if they can wear black armbands.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin offered his condolences (Photo: REUTERS)
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added: “I am deeply saddened by the horrible terrorist attack in Manchester last night.
“It shocks me that so many innocent people lost their lives and I would like to send my condolences to the families of those affected.”
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Rolf Harris was flanked by three plain-clothed security guards as he returned home after being released from jail in the middle of his latest sex abuse trial. One of the bodyguards who helped Harris get out of a blue Ford car outside his home had his face covered with a mask. The entertainer, 87, avoided reporters as he slipped out of Stafford Prison in the early hours of Friday morning but was photographed as he arrived at his 5m property.
Harris – wearing eyeglasses, a denim jacket and blue jeans – exited the car and slowly walked up a set of stairs towards his home by the river Thames in Berkshire. Clear plastic bags containing personal belongings – including an Australian stamp collection, toothbrush, letters and papers – were carried into the house.
Harris is accused of using his celebrity status to molest three young fans (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency) A masked bodyguard helps Harris out of a blue car outside his home (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency) Three bodyguards escorted Harris into his 5m property (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency) Personal belongings are carried into the entertainer’s home (Photo: London News Pictures)
Harris returned home to be by the side of his sick wife, Alwen, 85, who was said to be in failing health in recent weeks. A source recently said that Harris wanted to be reunited with his wife as soon as possible .
Neither his wife nor their daughter, Bindi, 53, was seen outside the home when he arrived. Harris is on trial accused of using his celebrity status to molest three young fans, aged 13 to 16, between 1971 and 1983.
Harris will appear in person when his indecent assault trial resumes (Photo: Daily Mirror) Harris, of Bray, Berkshire, denies four charges of indecent assault (Photo: Daily Mirror) Harris was granted bail following his release from prison (Photo: Daily Mirror) A clear plastic bag containing letters and papers (Photo: London News Pictures)
On Thursday Judge Deborah Taylor told jurors Harris would be granted bail after his release from Stafford Prison. He had been appearing in court via video-link but will now attend the rest of the trial in person.
Harris s trial was not sitting on Friday so he will attend Southwark Crown Court, South London, when it resumes on Monday morning.
A box is carried into Harris’ home after he was released from prison (Photo: Daily Mirror) Two of the bodyguards who helped Harris as he returned home (Photo: London News Pictures) Harris’ bodyguards carried his belongings into his home (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)
Meanwhile, one of his accusers insisted she was not driven by money as she gave evidence yesterday. The woman claimed Australia-born Harris twice sexually assaulted her when she was 16. She alleged Harris squeezed her breast after he appeared on ITV show Star Games in Cambridge in 1978, telling her: You re a little bit irresistible.
Harris and his bodyguards were not accompanied by the entertainer’s family (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency) Journalists gathered outside Stafford Prison as they waited for Harris to be released (Photo: SWNS) Harris slipped past journalists after being released in the early hours (Photo: SWNS)
The artist also groped her in the back seat of a car, she claims. Jurors have heard she later described him as groper Rolf and a dirty old man . Asked if she had lied, she said: I absolutely have not .
One of the reasons perhaps it was easier for me to tell police is because I have told people over the years.
Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in May 2014 (Photo: Getty Images Europe) Video Loading
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She added: I cannot imagine how anyone would conceive of doing this for any sort of kick. Harris, of Bray, Berkshire, denies four charges of indecent assault. The trial continues.
Officers had received reports a robbery was in progress. Arriving at the scene, they found a security guard, 63, suffering gunshot wounds.
Paramedics from London Ambulance Service attended the scene and transferred the man to an east London hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
A Met Police spokesman said: “Officers attended along with firearms officers and a security guard, a 53-year-old man was found at the location suffering from gunshot injuries.
“His injuries are not being treated as life threatening or life-changing.
“Officers from the Met’s Flying Squad are investigating.