Chelsea cancel title parade after Manchester Arena bomb attack

LONDON -- Chelsea have cancelled Sunday's victory parade to celebrate their Premier League win amid heightened security concerns in the aftermath of the Manchester bomb attack.

The club had organised parades following each of their four previous Premier League title wins, but feel continuing the tradition at the weekend would be "inappropriate" after the Manchester Arena attack killed 22 people and injured 59.

The British government has raised the national threat level from severe to critical, meaning authorities believe a further attack is imminent.

Chelsea have therefore concluded that an open event attracting tens of thousands of people would place an unnecessary burden on the capital's already stretched police and security forces.

A statement on the Chelsea website read: "Everyone associated with Chelsea Football Club offers our heartfelt condolences to those affected by Monday's attack in Manchester. Our thoughts go out to all the victims and their families and friends.

"In light of these tragic events, we feel it is inappropriate to go ahead with the victory parade in London on Sunday.

"Given the heightened security threat announced by the government, and recognising that this is a developing situation, we have given this careful consideration.

"We strongly believe, in the interests of everyone, that this is the correct course of action. We are sure our fans will understand this decision."

Chelsea said they "would not want in any way to divert important resources by holding an additional, non-ticketed event on the streets of London."

The club have announced that players will wear black armbands at Saturday's FA Cup final against Arsenal as a mark of respect.

On Tuesday, the Football Association confirmed that an "enhanced security operation" would be in place for the match.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have said the planned screening of the FA Cup final at the Emirates Stadium will not go ahead.

A statement said club officials had made the decision "reluctantly" and confirmed that there would not be a victory parade if Arsenal beat Chelsea at Wembley to win the trophy.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "As always, the safety of our supporters and staff is paramount, and we are in close contact with the security services.

"After taking their advice, we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the screening and potential parade. We are sorry for any disappointment this causes, but it is in everyone's best interests."