Champions League matches go ahead amid alleged terror threat

UEFA says this week’s Champions League quarter-final ties will go ahead as scheduled amid an alleged terror threat.

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in north London will host the first leg of the Gunners’ last-eight tie against Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening, while Manchester City are also in action away to Real Madrid.

Madrid also hosts Atletico’s game with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, while Paris Saint-Germain’s Parc des Princes stadium is the venue for the visit of Barcelona on the same evening in Paris.

A media outlet linked to ISIS has issued a threat concerning all four of this week’s ties, and European football’s governing body UEFA has now issued a statement on the matter.

“UEFA is aware of alleged terrorist threats made towards this week’s UEFA Champions League matches and is closely liaising with the authorities at the respective venues,” the statement said.

“All matches are planned to go ahead as scheduled with appropriate security arrangements in place.”

The Metropolitan Police say they are aware of reports of Champions League matches being targeted this week, but insist the terror threat level has not changed from its “substantial” level due to the reports, nor has the policing plan for Arsenal’s game.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, overseeing the policing of London on Tuesday, said: “The UK terrorism threat level remains at ‘substantial’ meaning an attack is likely, and we work closely with colleagues from across Counter Terrorism Policing in planning for events here in London, to take into account any relevant information that could help us to keep those attending safe.

“We’re aware of online and media reports in relation to calls to target matches across Europe and here in London.

“However, I want to reassure the public that we have a robust policing plan in place for tonight’s match and we continue to work closely alongside the club’s security team to ensure that the match passes peacefully.

“As ever, we ask the public to remain vigilant, and if they see any that doesn’t look or feel right, then report it to police or security staff.”

Arsenal say the security strategy for Tuesday night’s game remains as expected.

A club spokesperson said: “We work closely with the Metropolitan Police regarding the safety and security of all supporters and staff at Emirates Stadium for all our matches.

“Our planning for tonight’s fixture is no different and our approach, working together with the Police and UEFA, is proportionate to the current UK threat level.”

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has said that security will be “considerably reinforced” in Paris after the threat.

“We have seen, among others, a communication from the Islamic State which is particularly aimed at stadiums,” Darmanin said.

Meanwhile, in Spain, a government minister said they had taken all necessary precautions to avoid any terror attacks.

Sky Sports News has also contacted the Home Office for comment.