Belfast Telegraph

Rio Ferdinand hits out at London looters

England skipper Rio Ferdinand took to Twitter to slam the rioters who have turned his home city into a scene of anarchy and today saw the cancellation of his team’s friendly international with Holland.

Concern: England captain Rio Ferdinand described riots in London as ‘madness’ as tonight’s friendly with Holland was called off

Peckham-born Ferdinand described the scenes as ‘madness’ as he and his England team mates watched events across the capital unfold on news channels, depicting widespread carnage and looting of shops.

“I can't sleep,” said Ferdinand on Twitter from England’s training base in Watford.

“I've got the news stations on watching the coverage of the riots. This is madness.”

Earlier, Ferdinand asked whether the army should be deployed to quell the violence.

“It seems these kids/people have no fear or respect for the police.....maybe the army will get that respect??”

He added: “And I am not saying bring violence, I am saying the presence of the army may make these kids/people think twice about continuing this.”

Club and country team mate declared the situation as ‘nuts’.

He tweeted: “These riots are nuts why would people do this to there (sic) own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please.”

The Football Association confirmed this morning that the match against Holland would not go ahead.

The Dutch team were due to fly out of Amsterdam today and it would have been felt that a decision needed to be taken early so as to prevent them making a wasted journey. Police were also anxious to prevent fans turning up at Wembley and finding the game is not going ahead, exacerbating an already volatile situation.

Carling Cup ties in London — Charlton v Reading, West Ham v Aldershot and Crystal Palace v Crawley Town, were postponed, while, as the trouble spread across the country, Bristol City’s derby with Swindon was called off.

Meanwhile, The England cricket team were concerned observers of the trouble which spread to Birmingham as they prepared for the third Test against India.

The team are staying at a city centre hotel ahead of the five-day match which is due to begin at Edgbaston tomorrow. England are scheduled to practice at the ground this morning.

Batsman Kevin Pietersen last night reported the hotel's doors had been locked, as disorder continued on the streets of the city.

Police in Birmingham arrested around 100 people after rioters and looters rampaged, mirroring the chaotic scenes in London.

Pietersen said on Twitter: “they have just locked our hotel in Birmingham mate... Riots just started here.. Insane!!”

Tim Bresnan wrote: “Just seen the rioters in Birmingham fleeing down the main street followed by a load of police in the full get up. What's going on?”

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