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England match in Warsaw called off

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16 Oct 2012 21:17:55

England match in Warsaw called off

England's World Cup qualifier against Poland has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch in Warsaw.

Heavy rain had been falling in the Polish capital for most of the day and massive pools of water had appeared on the pitch.

Italian referee Gianluca Rocci inspected the pitch at 9pm local time (8pm BST), when the match was due to start at Warsaw's National Stadium. It seemed then that the cause was hopeless.

However, such was FIFA's desperation for the match to go ahead, it was decided to wait another 45 minutes before making a final decision.

In the end, though, with rain continuing to fall, there was no chance of the game being played properly and the decision to postpone was taken.

It was the first time an England match had been called off due to the weather since 1979 and calls into question the decision of the Polish Football Association not to close the stadium roof.

The decision was greeted with derision by a packed stadium.

However, it seemed obvious from the initial inspection, as the ball repeatedly came to a standstill in massive puddles, there was no way the match could go ahead.

Although the goalkeepers had begun their warm-up, neither team attempted it.

And they did not try later on either.


PA

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