Everton's Tim Cahill believes the opening Barclays Premier League matches should be postponed until the end of the season as authorities attempt to deal with this week's riots.
The first weekend of the season is under threat, with police having been stretched for five nights in an attempt to quell riots which have broken out in city centres across England. The Premier League are due to make a decision on whether to postpone any matches on Thursday, with games in riot hot-spots London, Manchester and Birmingham seemingly most at risk.
Cahill is due to open the season with Everton at Tottenham, where the rioting began on Saturday night, but believes the Premier League owe it to the emergency services to postpone the games. He said: "We could only play for the right reasons. The main thing is, you have to think about the police who are working day in, day out."
He added: "The ambulance, the firemen - they are human beings. We need to reward them, people need to help them.
"I know it's not up to us, but that is important."
The 31-year-old midfielder, who was speaking after scoring in Australia's 2-1 win over Wales in Cardiff, added that the season should be extended by an extra week to accommodate the situation.
"For us if we have to sacrifice an extra week at the end of the season to finish off the games, then so be it," he said.
"For me, being in England for 14 years now, it's important that everyone pulls together and makes sure we get back together again.
"You have to make sure no-one gets hurt."