Amid the bomb scare and evacuation at Old Trafford Stadium on 15 May, an Arsenal fan took to Twitter to place blame on a group of Sikh football fans, prompting instant backlash. 'Arsenal Craig' posted an image of the men with a caption that read: "Bomb threat at Old Trafford, I know where my investigation would start."
The user has since deleted his tweet, however, a screenshot was still circulating on the morning of 16 May. Hundreds of football fans have hit out at the Arsenal supporter, with many even urging the police to get involved.
The image of the Sikh supporters does not appear to have been taken by the 'Arsenal Craig' user, but is an image taken from Getty Images. The Sikh men are well known within the football community for being lifelong Manchester United fans, even featuring in an advert for the football club and prompting a Facebook page about them, which now has nearly 20,000 likes.
Many football fans have continued to condemn his actions hours after the tweet was deleted and some have called for him to be banned from attending further Arsenal games. The Sikh Federation UK, one of the largest Sikh organisations in the UK, has also joined in the debate, reminding 'Arsenal Craig' that "ignorance like this gets Sikhs killed".
Thousands of fans were left disappointed on 14 May as Old Trafford Stadium was evacuated and the club's last game of the Premier League season was abandoned. A controlled explosion was carried out at the stadium. However, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that the bomb was not real and had been a training device left by a private company during a training exercise involving explosive search dogs.
Assistant chief constable John O'Hare from the Greater Manchester Police said: "Whilst this item did not turn out to be a viable explosive, on appearance this device was as real as could be, and the decision to evacuate the stadium was the right thing to do, until we could be sure that people were not at risk."
Manchester United's vice chairman, Ed Woodward, has said that the club will be investigating the incident and thanked the police for their support, as well as the response from fans of both teams involved. The cancelled game has been rescheduled for 17 May at 8pm GMT, with fans being offered refunds as well as free tickets to the reschedule game.