Big freeze claims two more games

09 January 2010 09:05
Latics were confident that the game would go ahead earlier on Friday, but once it emerged that the undersoil heating at the DW Stadium had failed during late afternoon, it always seemed unlikely the encounter would go ahead.

Referee Stuart Attwell inspected the pitch at 8.30am on Saturday morning and quickly deemed the surface unplayable.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said: "We are devastated because the club has worked so hard in these freak weather conditions to make the area surrounding the stadium safe.

"The pitch has never been the problem, until now.

"I have to congratulate our safety team at the stadium who have worked tirelessly to try and clear the area of ice and snow over the past few days. Our ground staff have also spent several nights at the stadium making the sure the pitch remained playable."

West Ham's Premier League match against Wolves, scheduled for Sunday, has also been postponed due to conditions in the area surrounding Upton Park, league officials have announced.

It became the seventh Premier League match to be postponed.

A Premier League spokesman said: "It is unfortunate that these matches have had to be called off, however the advice from the statutory authorities in light of continuing adverse weather conditions was to postpone.

"Clearly the safety of supporters in these circumstances is paramount and the league and clubs have acted quickly to ensure as few unnecessary journeys are undertaken as possible.

"Fans are advised to monitor club websites to keep up to date with any further developments regarding the weekend's remaining Premier League fixtures.

"The Premier League will work with the clubs concerned to reschedule postponed fixtures as soon as practically possible."

It now means only the games between Arsenal and Everton (3pm) and Birmingham and Manchester United (5.30pm) will go ahead in the top flight on Saturday.

In the Football League, only five matches in total go ahead with the Championship games between Cardiff v Blackpool, Coventry v Barnsley and Derby v Scunthorpe (all 3pm) somehow beating the freeze.

The games at Leeds and Norwich are the only surviving League One fixtures, while the decision to call off Northampton's meeting with Chesterfield means there are no games in League Two.

Rangers' Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Hamilton will go ahead on Sunday, barring a serious deterioration in the weather, following an inspection at New Douglas Park. The tie is one of just six remaining from an original list of 16.

Source: Team_Talk