International friendly

Riots force friendly cancellation

August 9, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

The Football Association has confirmed England's friendly match against Netherlands on Wednesday has been called off.

London riots, Croydon
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Riots that began in Tottenham on Saturday night after a protest over a police shooting have spread throughout London - and indeed other parts of England - and a meeting between the FA and the Metropolitan Police took place on Tuesday morning to determine whether the match would go ahead.

An FA statement following the meeting read: "It is with regret that tomorrow's international fixture with Holland at Wembley has been called-off.

"Following the events in Greater London, The FA has this morning held discussions with the Metropolitan Police, the Government and Brent Council. We have received clear advice that due to the sporadic and widespread nature of the unrest there are significant concerns in relation to the available emergency service resource to safely police the fixture.

"In light of these concerns regarding policing and emergency service provision the authorities have advised us that under the terms of our safety certificate we are unable to host the fixture, or guarantee the safety of visiting supporters or the teams. For these reasons the game cannot go ahead.

"The FA wishes to make clear it is in complete agreement with the advice of the Metropolitan Police, the Government and Brent Council.

"The Dutch FA (KNVB) were informed of the decision prior to their scheduled departure from Holland, and we thank them for their co-operation and support during this difficult period."

Rio Ferdinand backed the decision. "England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game of football when our country is in turmoil," he tweeted.

FA chairman David Bernstein has since announced at a press conference that he is hopeful the fixture can be rearranged next year.

"This is not a decision driven by money," he said. "There is loss of income, but we are hoping and believe that the game will be rearranged, hopefully next year, and if that happens all in all the costs will not be very great."