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England v Holland friendly called off
Published on:Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 12:26
Holland’s friendly match against England was cancelled after British officials ruled they were unable to guarantee the safety of teams and players in riot-hit London.
England’s Football Association took the unprecedented step of scrapping the match at Wembley after a third day of rioting spread across several areas of London.
The FA agreed to scrap the match after consulting police and local council authorities.
"… 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," an FA statement said.
"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."
FA official Adrian Bevington said England's players were disappointed but supported the decision to call off the match.
"We've all seen the terrible pictures on the 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 the disorder which has been ongoing."
England's players also issued a statement on Tuesday, saying: "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.
Thousands of Dutch fans had already flocked to London when the decision was taken. They will get the money returned for their tickets, not for their trip.
The KNVB director was quoted as saying his organisation would lose millions of euros in television rights.
"Together with the English FA we will look for a decent and elegant solution," Bert van Oostveen told Dutch media.
(Sources: Reuters, AFP, ANP, KNVB)