Manchester United Game Canceled Due To ‘Suspect Package’

"The match has been abandoned today on police advice"

A general view as the match is abandoned. — REUTERS/Andrew Yates
May 15, 2016 at 11:04 AM ET

Manchester United’s final league game of the season was canceled on Sunday after a suspicious package was found in the Old Trafford stadium.

“Due to the discovery of a suspect package in the NW Quadrant of the ground, the match has been abandoned today on police advice,” Manchester United tweeted.

The Greater Manchester Police said later on Sunday afternoon that bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion.

Fans started leaving the stadium about a half an hour ahead of kickoff, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. local time, CBC Sports reported. In total, tens of thousands of people were evacuated, and the match, between Manchester United and Bournemouth, was postponed.

In a statement, the Premier League said it is always a last resort to cancel matches, and apologized for the inconvenience. “When it comes to matters of security it is obviously right that Manchester United and the Premier League place the safety of supporters and employees foremost,” it said.

Kickoff had initially been delayed after the package was found. Pictures showed sniffer dogs searching the stadium.