Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: April 25, 2023, 09:50 IST
Wembley Stadium (Twitter)
The sound of the emergency was so unsettling that many fans had to leave the venue immediately with much irritation
The Wembley Stadium in London experienced a chaotic scene just ahead of the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, April 23. The UK government was supposed to run the nationwide Emergency Alert test at 3 PM local time when the stadium was packed with football fans. The system is designated to send important broadcasts and warning messages to the general public via their mobiles at the time of any national emergency. As per the schedule, when the alarm began going off on the smartphones of everyone present at Wembley, it was enough to remind someone of a scene from Netflix’s dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror.
Some footage of the never-seen-before incident was shared on Twitter. The sound was so unsettling that many fans had to leave the venue immediately with much irritation. In a widely viral clip, some supporters can be seen stuck to their smartphones, searching for a way to turn off the irritating alarm. People who reside in the neighbourhood areas shared their experience on Twitter, saying that the loud noise from Wembley could be heard from distant parts of the city also.
A person who was driving near the “packed” Wembley got startled after hearing the unearthly noise of the alarms.
Na I was driving near a PACKED Wembley Stadium when the emergency alert happened, everyone was shook — regista (@1asif_) April 23, 2023
A resident of the neighbourhood tweeted, “With a 90,000+ crowd in Wembley trooping inside, the Emergency Alert echoed across the area.”
A user said that one who didn’t want to hear the alarm had the ability to switch it off beforehand as “it was not compulsory.”
Most mobile devices have abiity to switch off emergency alert, it is not compulsory.— Mr G (@Wembley1988) April 22, 2023
The emergency alert test on Sunday didn’t go as planned. Some phone users appeared to have received the message early and others did not. British people have gone to social media to express their displeasure over not receiving the alarm, with some claiming that other members of their houses heard the siren but they did not. The message was conveyed to 4G and 5G mobile phones with sound and vibration lasting up to 10 seconds. Before being able to use their phone again, users were required to acknowledge the notice by swiping or clicking the message.
Looking at the game, Manchester United edged past Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final, winning the thrilling face-off via penalty shootout. United could not break the deadlock in the 120-minute play with Brighton showing off their possession game. The tie-breaker was also quite balanced with both teams converting their first six chances. David de Gea then made the difference for the Red Devils as the Spanish goalkeeper stood tall against Solly March, who took Brighton’s seventh penalty.
The victory for United has enabled the opportunity for a Manchester derby in the FA Cup final this year. City have outclassed Sheffield United in the other semi-final, winning the match 3-0. The title bout is scheduled for June 3 and will be hosted at Wembley.
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