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England-Holland Soccer Friendly Postponed Due to London Riots

Wednesday’s scheduled friendly between England and Holland at Wembley Stadium in London has been postponed due to widespread rioting in the English capital.

Football Association Chairman David Bernstein said authorities advised him about postponing the match.

“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,” Bernstein said at a news conference.

“In light of these concerns … 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.

“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,” Bernstein added.

English players released a statement agreeing with the decision.

“We have all seen the terrible pictures on television and the most important thing at this time is the safety of the fans and the general public.

“At this time the whole squad would like to appeal for calm and an end to this disorder.”

Rioting began three days ago after police shot and killed a 29-year-old father of four in an anti-firearms operation. Gangs of youths have since rampaged through the streets, smashing store windows, looting stores and setting fires.

(Photo: The Guardian)

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