London riots 2011: England stars appeal for calm as friendly with Holland is axed

09 August 2011 05:55

The opening weekend of the Premier League is now under threat after England's friendly with Holland was axed because of the London riots.

The Premier League and Football League are in talks with police to see whether this weekend's matches in London can still go ahead.

A joint statement read: 'The Premier League and Football League are saddened by the recent incidents of civil unrest and the effect it is having on local communities.

Breaking bad news: The England players listen to FA chairman David Bernstein

What's off so far.INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIESEngland v HollandGhana v Nigeria

CARLING CUPBristol City v SwindonCharlton v ReadingCrystal Palace v CrawleyWest Ham v Aldershot

'We are in ongoing discussions with our London-based clubs, the Metropolitan Police and statutory authorities in regard to the staging of the coming weekend's fixtures inthe capital.

'The Metropolitan Police has conveyedto us the dynamic nature of the current situation and with that in mindall parties will review the situation on Thursday and make a further public statement at that time.

'With the information currently available to us there is no reason to think any matches outside of London will be affected.

'We are conscious of the need to keepfans informed of any developments and will, of course, keep them as up-to-date as possible through club, league and media channels.'

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.

Saturdaycould 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.

The entire England appealed for calm across the country after their friendly with Holland was called off after the shocking riots across London.

VIDEO: Click here to watch the FA announcement

Wembley was due to host the match on Wednesday night but it has now been axed along with Tuesday's friendly between Ghana and Nigeria, which was set to take place at Watford.

Thedecision to postpone England's clash was made after talks between the police and the FA on Tuesday morning, with rioting in nearby Harlesden and Brent Cross.

They agreed that they do not have theresources to deal with a massive Wembley crowd.

AnFA statement read: 'Following the events in Greater London, the FA has this morning held discussions with the Metropolitan Police, the Government and Brent Council.

'We have received clear advice that due to the sporadic and widespread nature of the unrest there are significant concerns in relation to the available emergency service resource to safely police the fixture.

Frustration: England's players walk out to training on Tuesday

'Inlight of these concerns regarding policing and emergency service provision the authorities have advised us that under the terms of our safety certificate we are unable to host the fixture, or guarantee the safety of visiting supporters or the teams. For these reasons the game cannot go ahead.

'The FA wishes to make clear it is in complete agreement with the advice of the Metropolitan Police, the Government and Brent Council.

'The Dutch FA (KNVB) were informed ofthe decision prior to their scheduled departure from Holland, and we thank them for their co-operation and support during this difficult period.'

A tweet from the FA's official Twitter page later read: 'The England squad are appealing for an end to the disorder after fixture with Holland called off. Pleaseretweet and help #stoptheriots'

Morethan 70,000 fans were due to attend the game and the FA confirmed general admission tickets for the match would be refunded in full.

Star-studded: But the Holland players will not be at Wembley this week

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said the England players supported the decision to call off the game.

'Onbehalf of the squad we would like to say that we are disappointed that tomorrow's game will be called off, but obviously we understand the reasons behind the decision and we support it,' he said in a statement.

'We'veall seen the terrible pictures on the television and the most importantthing at this time is the safety of the fans and the general public.

'At this time the whole squad would like to appeal for calm and an end to the disorder which has been ongoing.'

FA chairman David Bernstein confirmed the organisation would seek to rearrange the fixture against Dutch.

'We're hoping and believe this fixture will be rearranged, hopefully next year,' he said.

Destruction: London remains in the grip of riots

Bevington insisted the FA had been in contact with the KNVB and they understood the decision to call off the match.

Headded: 'The dialogue between ourselves has been extremely positive and the key point here is the game is rearranged and played at the earliest convenience.

'Obviously it's not straightforward with the international calendar, but there are potential slots which could come available and any losses through not playing the game can be regained by playing the fixture at the earliest possible convenience.'

Englanddefender Rio Ferdinand, who comes from Peckham, one the riot-hit areas,said on Twitter: 'England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game of football when our country is in turmoil.'

He also tweeted: 'The solution to this is not to just clean up the glass, its to stop the glass breaking in the 1st place.'

A spokeswoman for the Dutch said: 'We will remain in the Netherlands. It's a shame.'

All over: England manager Fabio Capello speaks to his squad

The Dutch federation (KNVB) later released a statement which read: 'The KNVB has just been in touch again with the FA.

'Earlyon Tuesday morning, the English federation consulted with local authorities about the friendly match due to be played on Wednesday night. The authorities have decided to cancel the scheduled game.

'The rioting in London is such that all available police capacity is reserved for this.'

Afterthe announcement, England trained together at London Colney before heading back to their clubs, with all 23 remaining members of Fabio Capello's squad present.

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.

The Hammers will now meet Aldershot on Wednesday August 24 after rearranging the tie.

Bristol City's tie with Swindon at Ashton Gate has also been postponed following trouble in the city overnight.

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

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

Chairman Colin Sexstone said: 'It's disappointing but we totally understand the reasons given by the police.Clearly the most important factor is people's safety and these are exceptional circumstances the police are dealing with.'

Nottingham was another city which witnessed civil unrest last night but Nottingham Forest confirmed this morning that their Carling Cup match against city rivals Notts County would go ahead as planned.

Astatement on the Championship club's website read: 'Nottingham Forest'sCarling Cup first-round tie with Notts County at the City Ground this evening will go ahead as planned, Nottinghamshire Police have confirmed.

'Thegame will kick off at 7.45pm, despite some concerns it would be postponed following disturbances in the St Ann's area of the city overnight.

'Police say the disturbances - which saw vehicles damaged, windows smashed and a police station attacked - will not affect the eagerly-anticipated derby between the two teams.'

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.'

Waiting game: Tom Cleverley has been denied his debut

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 welive in today. This is not a reflection of London, this is a reflectionof 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.'

Going ahead: Ongoing Beach Volleyball Olympics test event at Horse Guards Parade given green light

London 2012 Olympic organisers are planning to press ahead with test events in the capital for the Games next year, including the beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade today.

The Surrey Cycle classic on Sunday, a test event for the cycling road race which will go through the streets of London, is due to take place as planned as is the marathon swimming event at Hyde Park on Saturday.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: 'A lot of detailed work has taken place regarding security plans for the Games and we will continue to review them together with the Met Police and the Home Office over the coming year.'

Elsewhere, Ghana's friendly with Nigeria due to be held at Watford's Vicarage Road tonight due to concerns regarding policing.

Executive committee member Randy Abbey told the Ghana Football Association's offical website: 'We have just been informed by the match organisers about the latest decision calling off today's friendly with Nigeria at Watford.'

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Source: Daily_Mail