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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 30 July, 2014

FA confirm England friendly off due to rioting

Third test against India will go ahead but Dutch fixture at Wembley called off.

Image: : David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

ENGLAND’S FRIENDLY AGAINST Holland, scheduled for tomorrow at Wembley, has been called off in the wake of the rioting in London, the Football Association confirmed today.

The third test between the country’s cricketers and India looks set to go ahead however, after police said there was ‘no reason’ the fixture should not be fulfilled.

Last night, West Ham, Charlton and Crystal Palace postponed Carling Cup matches slated for tonight in the English capital.

Football Association chiefs held discussions with Met bosses this morning at Wembley.

The decision to call off the first international friendly of the football season comes as no surprise after a third night of rioting.

England’s footballers have been informed of the decision, as have Dutch officials, who were due to fly in this afternoon with their squad.

We will remain in the Netherlands,” Dutch football association spokeswoman Monique Kessel said. “It’s a shame.”

About 70,000 tickets have already been sold.

Rio Ferdinand reacted to the news, writing on Twitter: “England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game of football when our country is in turmoil.”

Last night he led the pleas for calm as the drama unfolded. The Peckham-born defender wrote: “The scenes on Sky news right now are shocking..what is this all in aid of?? Innocent peoples homes + livelihoods have gone up in smoke-why?

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

“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??”

Ferdinand’s team-mate Wayne Rooney added: ”These riots are nuts why would people do this to there [sic] own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please.”

- additional reporting AP

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