London riots: England v Holland off

09 August 2011 02:21


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

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

The decision 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.

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

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

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

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

An FA 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.

'In light 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 of the 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. Please retweet 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.

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

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

'On behalf 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've all seen the terrible pictures on the television and the most important thing 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.

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

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

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

He added: '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.'

England defender 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.'

Destruction: London remains in the grip of riots

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.'

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

'Early on 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.'

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

All over: England manager Fabio Capello speaks to his squad

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.

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.'

Copycat violence: Rioters and looters hit Birmingham shops on Monday

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.

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

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

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

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

England's players 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.

Warwickshire issued a statement this morning, making it clear they expect the match - which has attracted near record ticket sales - to go ahead as planned.

It read: 'Warwickshire County Cricket Club wishes to respond to the media enquiries it has received by confirming that the third npower Test match between England and India at Edgbaston will proceed as planned, and play will begin tomorrow at 11am as scheduled.

'If there are any changes to plans, a further announcement will be made.'

Enough is enough: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has called for order in the country

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.

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.'

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.'

 England chaos: Riots put Wembley friendly in doubt as cricketers are locked in hotelCleverley in line for England debut as Lampard joins Wilshere and Carrick on sidelines Sign up for our FREE Fantasy Football game and your chance to win a share of ?40,000



Source: Daily_Mail