The suspicious device that led to the rescheduling of Sunday’s Manchester United game at Old Trafford was wrongly signed in by a security firm carrying out an exercise at the stadium, the team announced.
“The safety of the fans is our number one aim at every event we host at Old Trafford,” Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement. “Overall, I’m proud of how our staff responded.”
According to multiple reports, the package discovered was a cell phone strapped to a gas pipe. The device was destroyed in a controlled explosion by bomb disposal experts at Old Trafford, Manchester United confirmed.
After the investigation, the device was left behind following the training of security dogs by a sub contractor. On game day, the device in question could not have been detected by sniffer dogs because it did not contain any explosives.
“Once a live situation was identified, the club and police had no option but to treat the matter as a potential terror threat; we could not have assumed it was a training exercise error,” Woodward added. “Presented with the same situation in the future, we would take the same action.”
The match against Bournemouth was initially set for 10 a.m. ET, but fans were told to evacuate the stadium just 15 minutes before kickoff and players and coaches left the field. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday.