England's friendly with Holland called off after London riots
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A football friendly match between England and the Netherlands scheduled for Wednesday at London’s Wembley Stadium has been called off as police struggle to stem a wave of rioting and looting across the British capital.
AP - England’s football friendly against the Netherlands was called off Tuesday amid the wave of rioting and looting across London. “It is with regret that tomorrow’s international fixture with Holland at Wembley has been called off,” the Football Association said in a brief statement.
The decision was announced before the Dutch team traveled to London for Wednesday’s match.
“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 for the match.
“The disturbances in London are such that all available police capacity is being reserved for that,” the Dutch football association said in a statement. “Given that a large event such as an international match at Wembley requires policing, it has been decided not to let it be played.” The move came as British authorities struggled to contain the spiraling unrest.
In London, groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks. England striker Wayne Rooney appealed for an end to the violence. “These riots are nuts why would people do this to there (sic) own country. Own city,” Rooney wrote on Twitter. “This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please” England defender Rio Ferdinand described the escalating violence as “madness” and questioned whether soldiers should be put on the streets of the British capital.
Three League Cup matches scheduled for Tuesday across London have already been called off.
West Ham, which was due to host Aldershot, said police told the east London club that “all major public events in London were to be rearranged.” In south London, Charlton’s match against Reading and Crystal Palace’s fixture against Crawley were also postponed.