Belfast Telegraph

London riots force England call-off

By Steven Beacom

England’s Wembley friendly against Holland tomorrow night today fell victim to riots sweeping London.

The serious unrest has also forced the postponement of several Carling Cup games tonight and sparked fears that the start of the Premier League campaign could be affected this weekend.

A combination of fears of football bringing more large numbers onto the streets and stretched police resources led to the unprecented decisions.

After a third night of rioting in England’s capital, it was decided that this evening’s matches in the city (West Ham v Aldershot, Charlton v Reading and Crystal Palace v Crawley Town) should be called off for safety reasons with police required elsewhere.

With riots spreading across the country the Carling Cup clash between Bristol City and Swindon was also postponed this morning on police advice.

If the rioting continues it is certain to have an impact on the weekend matches in London and possibly beyond, including opening weekend Premier League clashes.

In the capital, which remember will be the home of the Olympics next year, Fulham are due to host Aston Villa, Tottenham are down to meet Everton and there is much anticipation ahead of QPR’s return to top flight football against Bolton.

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