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Riots force off Spurs v Everton
Published : 11 Aug 2011 11:20:00
Tottenham's opener against Everton on Saturday has been postponed due to the London riots - but all other Premier League games will go ahead. At Thursday's official launch for the Premier League, chief executive Richard Scudamore confirmed to Sky Sports News that the match at White Hart Lane had been called off. Scudamore confirmed that the Metropolitan Police could not hand back Tottenham High Road in time for the council to complete a clean-up operation, which means the game cannot go ahead. "In fairness to the police they have done a fantastic job," said Scudamore, "but they are unable to hand Tottenham High Road back to the council until Friday night and that is late enough to get a safety certificate in time. "Obviously full credit to the police and we respect their decision and ultimately it will be their decision and we respect their decision and support them. They want these games to go ahead as much as we do but obviously it is inevitable that if they can't go on, that we support them." Tottenham also announced the news with a statement on their official website, which read: "Following ongoing discussions with the necessary authorities regarding this weekend's Premier League home match against Everton, it has now been confirmed that this fixture will be postponed due to safety concerns relating to infrastructure of the High Road and access to the stadium caused by last Saturday's riots. "We apologise for any inconvenience caused to supporters due to matters outside of the control of the club. We shall update fans on when this fixture will be rearranged in due course." Later on Thursday, the Premier League confirmed that the nine remaining top-flight matches in the opening round will go ahead. A Premier League statement read: "Following on-going discussions with the Metropolitan Police, statutory authorities and clubs in London, the Premier League can confirm that, aside from the postponed Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match, all League games in the capital will go ahead as scheduled this weekend. "The Premier League has worked closely with the authorities and London-based clubs throughout the recent civil unrest to ensure matches are staged in accordance with supporter safety. "While all efforts were made to try and facilitate the Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match by the Metropolitan Police and the local authority, the situation on the Tottenham High Road proved too difficult to overcome. "The Premier League would like to thank the Metropolitan Police and all the other relevant police forces for their efforts and on-going communication during this difficult time. "Acting on current information from the authorities there is no reason to believe that matches outside of London will be affected at this time." The League Two match between Cheltenham and Swindon at Whaddon Road has been postponed on police advice, but the Football League expect the rest of their weekend programme to be unaffected. In a statement issued to the Cheltenham's website, the club's secretary Paul Godfrey said: "Obviously we're disappointed because Saturday was going to be a great occasion and should have been a good match. "However security and safety at the match is paramount and we understand that, because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere, it will not be possible to deploy the number of officers that would normally be required for this fixture. "For that reason, police have advised us that the match should be postponed on safety grounds and, following consultations with the Football League, this is the decision that has been taken reluctantly but in the best interests of everybody concerned."