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England match against the Netherlands off after riots


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England match against the Netherlands off after riots

England's friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday has been called off following three nights of rioting in London.

The Football Association confirmed the decision on their website on Tuesday.

Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bristol City have all been postponed.

However, Edgbaston officials told BBC Sport that the third Test between England and India in Birmingham on Wednesday will go ahead as planned.

The FA's managing director of Club England Adrian Bevington wrote on Twitter: "Disappointing for game to be called off, but very good communication with Met [Metropolitan Police], Brent [Council] and Government today - sensible decision."

Bert van Oostveen, chief executive of the Dutch federation the KNVB, explained: "The police in London could not guarantee the safety of our players and our supporters."

The England team were still planning to train at London Colney, however.

Meanwhile BBC sports news reporter Joe Wilson, in Birmingham for the third Test, said on Tuesday that nearby hotels had been advised to lock their doors.

He wrote on Twitter: "Helicopters circling over Bull Ring, about half mile from England hotel. Spoke to England head of security, confident all players safe."

England batsman Kevin Pietersen revealed in a tweet to broadcaster Piers Morgan that the team were locked in their hotel ahead of the Test match as trouble flared in the second city.

A statement from the Indian Cricket Board, while confirming that the squad were accounted for and safe, said that team management would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

The teams are staying in Birmingham city centre ahead of the Test match at Edgbaston, south of the city, with England scheduled to practise at the ground on Tuesday.

West Ham's game against Aldershot was the first to be called off, announcing the news on the Hammers website.

Charlton's stadium, The Valley, is close to Lewisham where rioting occurred on Monday.

A statement on Charlton's website read: "Clearly the most important factor is the people's safety. The police have told us they believe the match should be postponed on safety grounds and obviously we have taken that advice."

Crystal Palace were also set to play Crawley Town at Selhurst Park on Tuesday but that match was postponed, given the stadium is close to the scene of disorder in Croydon.

With the unrest spreading to other cities across England, Bristol City's match Swindon was also called off for safety reasons.

And Tottenham's Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday could also potentially be in doubt, although a statement on the club's website on Monday said that everything was being done to ensure the match went ahead, with fans urged to check the official website for updates.

In London, violence broke out on Monday for a third consecutive day with riot police deployed and firefighters tackling blazes across the capital, following disturbances in Tottenham on Saturday evening and Enfield on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, BBC sports news reporter Leon Mann tweeted: "Organisers of Ghana v Nigeria tell me [Tuesday's] game still set to go ahead at Watford FC as planned."

With London 2012 less than a year away, the British Olympic Association said that the current situation in the capital should not affect preparations.

"It makes an Olympic Games and a Paralympic Games all the more important. We need a reason to come together," BOA's director of communications Darryl Seibel told Sky Sports News.

"What better city to do it in than London. It is the only city to be honoured with the Olympic Games on three occasions."

Asked if he was aware of any damage caused to Olympic venues he said: "I'm not aware of it, no."

Source: BBC Sport

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