England cancels Dutch friendly due to riots

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

LONDON, ENGLAND - England canceled Wednesday's international friendly against the Netherlands on Tuesday due to riots in London.

The English Football Association held talks with the Metropolitan Police, and it was decided to cancel the match after three nights of violence. The unrest started after police fatally shot a man in north London. Hundreds have already been arrested in the rioting.

"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," a statement released by the FA read.

"In light of these concerns regarding policing and emergency service provision 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.

"For these reasons the game cannot go ahead."

More than 70,000 tickets had already been sold for the fixture, but England's players admitted it was in the best interest of everyone involved not to play the game.

"We're disappointed that [Wednesday's] game has been called off but obviously we understand the reasons behind the decision - and support it," England's players released in a statement on the FA website.

"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."


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