Italian football’s security crisis has not been as bad as feared after an early morning blast at a Milan stadium that killed two and injured more than 100 others.
Security officials say it is unclear how the blast started and authorities have not yet confirmed whether it was caused by a bomb or a suicide bomb.
The blast was reported at 10.30am on Saturday at the Parc del Mire stadium, which seats just over half a million spectators, as a group of about 20 people were waiting to play a friendly against Italy.
The fire alarm was triggered by a loud noise that prompted the stadium’s ventilation system to shut down.
A security guard told Reuters news agency that no one was hurt, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Italy’s domestic security service (SISTR), the ESS, confirmed it had opened an investigation into the attack.
It said in a statement on Saturday that the suspect was a 32-year-old Italian national from Milan.
He was later arrested and was being questioned by police.
The ESS added that the incident “sustained damage and damage to public buildings and caused significant damage to security equipment”.
It said the perpetrator was a “person of interest” and was still at large.
The country’s top football federation, AS Roma, said in statement on Sunday that its “security and safety measures have been reinforced”.
It urged fans to avoid crowds of more than 15,000, adding that “there are some security measures that need to be put in place to ensure that the safety of the stadium, fans and supporters is guaranteed”.
A spokesman for AS Roma said the club would work with police to investigate the attack and the attack could be a result of “political or other issues”.
He did not elaborate.
The Italian police said on Sunday the incident did not appear to be connected to the bombing at the Manchester Arena, which killed 22 people on 22 June.
It is not yet clear whether the blast at the Stadio San Paolo was connected to either of those incidents.
In a statement, Milan police chief Andrea Piacenza said the attack was “an act of terrorism” and that the person responsible would be arrested.
“We can say that no arrests have been made.
The investigation is still in its preliminary stage,” he said.
“There are a number of reasons why we do not want to speculate any more, but the police have the right to investigate such incidents.”