England Match Called Off as One of Many Sports Affected by Mass Rioting

August 9, 2011

England’s friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday has been called off after authorities react to a third night of rioting in London.

The Football Association weighed the risks of staging the event and the possibility of another riot and deciided that safety must be the number one issue here.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman added: “Every football match in London is subject to assessment around police resources.”

The managing director of Club England, Adrian Bevington, stated that he was heading to Wembley Stadium early on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

“Deplorable scenes of disorder once more – heading into Wembley now for meetings,” he tweeted

Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bristol City have all been postponed.

West Ham cancelled their game against Aldershot early on with the rioting in East Ham and Ilford not far away.

Charlton’s stadium, The Valley, is close to Lewisham where rioting occurred on Monday.

Charlton wrote a statement on their website: “Clearly the most important factor is the people’s safety. The police have told us they believe the match should be postponed on safety grounds and obviously we have taken that advice.”

Crystal Palace also postponed their match Crawley town at Selhurst Park, given the stadium is close to the scene of disorder in Croydon.

With the unrest spreading to other cities across England, Bristol City’s match Swindon was also called off for safety reasons.

And Tottenham’s Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday could also potentially be in doubt, although a statement on the club’s website on Monday said that everything was being done to ensure the match went ahead, with fans advised to check the website for  further updates.

The riots in Tottenham are a cause for concern for the club if they continue to escalate but at the moment the game on saturday is on.

Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspurs chairman, has pledged the north london club will help with any rebuilding effort.

He stated:

“As a major employer and business in the area, the club is deeply saddened by recent events, we are concerned about the disruption to local people’s lives and the effect on the community as a whole. The situation has also meant that vandals have unfortunately been able to use the events as an opportunity to loot and destroy property and business premises. This is the second time this has happened in our area in recent times (the last incident being the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985).”

He added: “The club is committed to supporting its community with help with both the physical clean up of our area and the longer term rebuilding of the community spirit. It is more critical than ever that community, business and political leaders – local and national, public and private – now work closely together to support the regeneration of this area and we shall certainly look to play our part in that.”

The third test between England and India will go ahead as planned in riot plagued Birmingham but the England and India team have been locked away in their hotels for safekeeping from any ensuing rioting. England batsman Kevin Pietersen tweeted to Piers Morgan that they were locked in their hotel.

The Indian Cricket Board have accounted for the players and will monitor the situation.

There was also concern that preparations for the 2012 London Games would be affected with the Olympic Park not far from Hackney, one of the areas affected. But the British Olympic Assocaiation said that the current situation in the capital should not affect preparations.

“It makes an Olympic Games and a Paralympic Games all the more important. We need a reason to come together,” BOA’s director of communications Darryl 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.”

Asked if he was aware of any damage caused to Olympic venues he said: “I’m not aware of it, no.”