Rooney and Gerrard pull out of skills event

July 1, 2010

A football skills challenge event featuring six of the world’s best players has been cancelled after England’s Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard pulled out following their country’s exit from the World Cup.

The A:3K event, which was due to be held at London’s O2 Arena on 17 July, has now been postponed until the summer of 2011. It was created with the aim of trying to bring the world’s best players together, competing in front of a live audience.

Director of A:3K Terrry Byrne said in a statement: “Both Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney have made it clear they believe it would be inappropriate for them to participate in A:3K at this time. We fully understand and respect both players’ decisions. We could have replaced them with two other players but feel the players involved are six of the best in the world – and that is what we promised we would deliver.

“Having consulted all parties involved, everyone agreed the only decision possible was to postpone the event until next summer when we intend to deliver the same six player line up. Our priority right now is to our customers who have purchased tickets.”

Rooney and Gerrard, who were earning a reported US$745,000 for taking apart, were due to appear alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas, Didier Drogba and David Villa.