England football and cricket teams caught up in riots

09 August 2011 08:49

England's football and cricket teams found themselves caught up in Britain's riot madness.

Fabio Capello's footballers are waiting to hear if their first friendly of the season, against Holland at Wembley on Wednesday, will be called off because of trouble across London, including in nearby Harlesden and Brent Cross.

A decision will be made this morning - and the match is likely to be scrapped on police advice.

Destruction: London remains in the grip of riots

What's off so far.CARLING CUP

Bristol City v SwindonCharlton v ReadingCrystal Palace v CrawleyWest Ham v Aldershot

The cricketers, who are due to begin the third Test against India at Edgbaston on the same day, were locked in their Birmingham city centre hotel as a safety precaution as trouble flared on the streets outside on Tuesday.

A West Midlands police spokesman said at this stage there is no reason to suggest the Test will not go ahead.

West Ham, Crystal Palace and Charlton postponed the League Cup ties they were due to host on Tuesday against Aldershot, Crawley and Reading respectively on police advice as the disorder spread.

Bristol City's match against Swindon has also been called off after problems in the city.

West Ham said in a statement: 'The club were contacted this evening and told all major public events in London were to be rearranged because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere.'

Police will hold meetings with the Football Association before making a decision over whether they have the resources to deal with a massive Wembley crowd for the England game.

More than 70,000 tickets have been sold for the game, but allowing hoardes of football fans to gather in an area already scarred by riots poses significant security risks.

The trouble is putting a massive strain on the Metropolitan Police, and a spokesman said: 'Every football match is subject to some form of assessment around police resources and this game is no different.'

Copycat violence: Rioters and looters hit Birmingham shops on Monday

Ablaze: The riots have led to several football matches being cancelled

Holland's players are due to fly from Amsterdam airport at 10am on Tuesday.

England's cricketers found themselves as spectators and Twitter commentators as trouble began around their Birmingham hotel.

Kevin Pietersen posted a photograph on his Twitter account showing lines of police protecting a building and said: 'they have just locked our hotel in Birmingham. Riots just started here Insane!!'

Bowler Tim Bresnan said on his Twitter account: 'Just seen the rioters in Birmingham fleeing down the main street followed by a load of police in the full get up. What's going on?'

All-rounder Stuart Broad added on Twitter: 'Police vans all around Birmingham where we are right now.'

Warm up: England are preparing for the third Test with India at Edgbaston

The India team, who were attending a function in Birmingham City Hall, were closer to the troubles and also returned hastily to their base in the Marriott hotel at the end of  Broad Street.

England's players were not under any sort of curfew earlier in the evening, and several had gone out to meet friends in restaurants or bars near to their Hyatt Regency hotel, close to the Broad Street area of England's second city.

But, at the first signs of trouble, the team's full-time security advisor, Reg Dickason, got in touch with them and advised them to return to the hotel.

Captain Andrew Strauss and  vice-captain Alastair Cook were at a barbecue at Jonathan Trott's house in the Birmingham suburbs but went back to the hotel on Dickason's advice on hearing of the problems.

Hands up: A riot officer stands in front of a burning car in Hackney

By 9.30pm all the players were back in the hotel, which had locked its doors and posted security guards in case of problems.

If the troubles don't die down there will be more issues for the police in deciding whether they have the resources to let club football matches go ahead this week.

Stevenage are due to play at home in the League Cup on Tuesday, and Saturday could pose even bigger problems.

In the Premier League, Fulham Tottenham and QPR are hosting games, while from the Football League, Palace, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Barnet are due to play home matches.

England striker Wayne Rooney pleaded for the trouble to stop.

He wrote on Twitter: 'These riots arenuts why would people do this to there [sic] own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please.'

Doubt: Fabio Capello's England are due to play Holland on Wednesday

Meanwhile, the continued trouble should not affect preparations for next summer's Olympics and even offers the opportunity for sport to heal some of the wounds caused by the current violence, according to the BOA's Director of Communications Darryl Seibel.

'It makes an Olympic Games and a Paralympic Games all the more important. We need a reason to come together,' Seibel told Sky Sports News.

'What better city to do it in than London. It is the only city to be honoured with the Olympic Games on three occasions.'

Seibel also expressed confidence in the ability of the authorities to make sure next summer's Olympics were safe.

He added: 'We know the level of work and we know the level of planning that has gone into it.

'This is a reflection of the world we live in today. This is not a reflection of London, this is a reflection of the world we live in today.'

Asked if he was aware of any damage caused to Olympic venues he said: 'I'm not aware of it, no.'

 CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL GAMELondon burns at hands of the mob as the PM finally flies home: G gangs armed with petrol bombs and poles on THIRD night of riots and cynical lootingMum's helping Kyle to reach for stars as Spurs defender targets Euro 2012 placePress pack given workout by Fabio as England coaching staff display their skillsThere are talented players - and then there's Tom Cleverley. He's got it all says Solskjaer

Source: Daily_Mail