At least 22 people have been confirmed as killed in a suspected terror attack in Manchester, UK, late on Monday night, and the football world has begun to mourn the tragic loss of life.
In addition to numerous fatalities, police say over 50 people were injured when an explosion hit outside the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande gig.
The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, players from those two clubs and England football legend Gary Lineker took to social media to express sympathy and support for the victims of the tragedy.
We are deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 23, 2017
It's with great sadness we hear of the terrible events at the Arena. Our hearts go out to all affected and to our city's emergency services.— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 23, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by last nights attack on this beautiful city. We will stand together in this dark hour— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) May 23, 2017
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims. It's a sad day for the great city of Manchester. #Unity— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) May 22, 2017
Shocking events for this great city. My thoughts and prayers are with the families.— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) May 23, 2017
To target children at a concert is beyond comprehension. Beyond lunacy. Beyond evil. Heart goes out to all those who've lost loved ones.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 23, 2017
Sickened by what has happened in Manchester. Thoughts go out to everyone. This is literally right around the corner from me. I am safe.— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) May 23, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) May 23, 2017
Let's stand together. pic.twitter.com/F3tZUGGPpU
From Amsterdam with love to Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the loved ones of those affected.— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 23, 2017
Can't believe what has happened in Manchester today!! It's so sad, sending my love and prayers!!— Shaun W-Phillips (@swp29) May 23, 2017
My heart and respect goes out to the people who lost their lives or loved ones in yesterday's attack in Manchester. #staystrong— Edwin van der Sar (@vdsar1970) May 23, 2017
My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in the attack at Manchester Arena. #StayStrongManchester— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) May 23, 2017
Today our thoughts are with the people of Manchester – a city of pride, passion and hope that welcomed us so warmly this time last year. pic.twitter.com/htGeYsodpQ— England (@England) May 23, 2017
Devastating news this morning. Thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) May 23, 2017
IS IT A TERRORIST ATTACK?
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning explaining that it is treating the incident as a terrorist attack, although that's a working hypothesis with details remaining thin on the ground.
"Just before 22:35 on Monday May 22, 2017, police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena," the GMP statement reads.
"So far 19 (now updated to 22) people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise."
UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the incident, saying: "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.
"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."
All political parties will suspend campaigning ahead of next month's General Election for what will be a period of national mourning.
WHERE DID THE EXPLOSION HAPPEN?
The Manchester Arena is in the city centre of the north-west UK, two miles north of Manchester United's Old Trafford and two miles west of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.
Although initial reports suggested the explosion happened in the foyer, Manchester Arena released a statement in the aftermath claiming the explosion happened outside as an estimated 21,000 people left the concert just after 22:30.
"We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night," it said.
"The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims."
Anyone in the UK concerned about the safety of relatives can dial the emergency number set up by police, which is 0161 856 9400.