Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Premier League prepare for kick-off

Richard Scudamore

This weekend's Premier League matches will kick off as scheduled despite the recent riots - apart from the postponed Tottenham versus Everton game.

Prime Minister David Cameron had told Parliament kick-off times could be brought forward for the remaining top-flight matches to avoid further trouble, but the Premier League later confirmed that all other games in the capital will go ahead at their intended times.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "The (postponement of the) Tottenham game is a real shame but we support the police in what they are doing. The police have done a fantastic job, but it's been a crime scene all week and the council have not had enough time to do what they need."

The Spurs match was called off on Thursday after the situation on Tottenham High Road was deemed to be difficult to allow the game to go ahead. It was there that the unrest that has affected a number of cities first started on Saturday.

The Football League also stated that all their games would be going ahead, although the npower League Two game between Cheltenham and Swindon was postponed on the advice of Gloucestershire Police before being given the all-clear on Thursday night.

The Premier League added in a statement: "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."

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson said the postponement was "disappointing".

He added: "We've worked for six weeks trying to get fit and now the first week's not going to be happening for us. But safety is the main thing, and the police wouldn't have called it off lightly."

Everton skipper Phil Neville said on Twitter he was "gutted" at the announcement but accepted it was "100% the right decision in the circumstances".

Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier clash between Telford and Luton has also been postponed after a request by West Mercia Police.

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