A middle-aged Nigerian man has been arrested by the police in Cyprus for carrying a knife during security screening to an outdoor stadium where Pope Francis was celebrating mass on Friday.

According to a report by Nigeriabroad, two security sources said the knife was found during security screening for thousands seeking access to the stadium. 

This was even as authorities took strict security precautions and most attendees had to be at the venue hours earlier.

However, authorities said it appeared the knife-carrying incident was unrelated to the presence of the pope on the island.

"After an investigation, it appears that the two are unrelated, there was no intention to do something," one source said, while a second said the knife was thought to be for personal use.

Earlier, a police official said the man concerned was a 43-year-old Nigerian national.

Pope Francis, on a three-day visit to Cyprus, called during Friday's mass for healing on the divided island.

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