A number of sporting events across London have been cancelled after civil unrest swept across large parts of the capital. The police, whose numbers on the street will swell to 16,000 tonight, issued advice to all clubs to postpone games scheduled for tonight or tomorrow evening. It could also affect the start of the Premier League season this weekend.
Games at West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Charlton have all been rearranged and the FA has also called off the national team’s friendly with Holland. The FA released a statement that read:
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.
As far as the Premier League season is concerned, it’s looking increasingly likely that at least some of the games will be called off, especially those in London.
According to the Guardian, “Due to the dynamic nature of the problems, the Premier League has adopted a watching brief and is liaising with all of its clubs regarding the situation.
The matches in London that look like being called off are Tottenham Hotspur’s fixture with Everton, QPR versus Bolton and Fulham’s clash against Aston Villa.