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London riots force cancellations

  • Guardian, Tuesday, August 9, 2011 2:40 PM

The England-Netherlands friendly scheduled for Wednesday at Wembley and several Carling Cup matches that were to be played Tuesday have been called off because of rioting in several sections of London.

More than 14,000 police -- more than double the usual number -- have been mobilized to quell rioting, looting, and mayhem in London. The violence, which began Saturday night in Tottenham when an alleged drug dealer was shot dead by an officer, prompted the Metropolitan police and English FA to cancel the friendly.

The Dutch team was informed as it prepared to depart Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. There was no immediate word if the match would be rescheduled.  Also called off was a Ghana-Nigeria friendly to be played at Vicarage Road, Watford's home stadium. The following Carling Cup matches will be rescheduled: Bristol City-Swindon, Charlton Athletic-Reading, Crystal Palace-Crawley, and West Ham-Aldershot.

Because the rioting broke out late Saturday night in areas removed from Wembley, the Community Shield match between Manchester United and Manchester City was permitted to be played Sunday afternoon. United rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat City, 3-2 in the traditional curtain-raiser to the season that matches the league champion and FA Cup winner.

Police and soccer officials are considering postponing the start of the English Premier League season this weekend if the rioting doesn't subside.

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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