Manchester United have cancelled Coach Jose Mourinho’s scheduled Europa League final pre-match news conference in Sweden following the Manchester explosion on Monday, according to reports.
“We are all very sad about the tragic events last night; we cannot take out of our minds and our hearts the victims and their families.We have a job to do and we will fly to Sweden to do that job. It is a pity we cannot fly with the early happiness,” the Portuguese tactician said.
UEFA confirmed that a minute’s silence would be observed before the highly-anticipated game, while much of the pregame ceremony would be “considerably reduced.”
Man United players observed a minute’s silence at the training session the next day before their flight to Sweden.
UEFA added that it had worked with the hosts of the final to foil any terrorist attack ahead of the game.
“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,” the body said.
It also confirmed that it received a request from Man United to cancel the pre-match press conference earlier scheduled for the Friends Arena in Stockholm. More plans have been cancelled out of respect for the victims and their families, reports say.
Manchester United need to win the game to earn an express ticket to next season’s Champions League after finishing sixth in the Premier League this term. It would also be a chance to add a second major title this term. Many have ranked Mourinho’s season as below average, considering his budget. The Europa League presents an opportunity of respite.