London: Sporting events in England have taken a direct hit due to the recent incidents of widespread rioting. With latest reports revealing that the unrest has spread to Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham, the first to be called off was the England-Holland friendly which was scheduled to take place at Wembley on Wednesday.
Football Association said in a statement that the match had to be called off due to the violence and that it was an unfortunate measure which just had to be taken. The Dutch team was scheduled to arrive in London on Tuesday morning but the Metropolitan Police advised against the match. Close to 70,000 tickets were sold for the clash and it is unclear yet on how fans will be reimbursed.
The BBC has also reported that two first round matches of the Carling Cup - West Ham United versus Aldershot Town and Charlon Athletic versus Reading - have been postponed in the light of the recent unrest.
The Guardian in a story, has revealed that although uncertainty prevails over a scheduled friendly which was to be played between Ghana and Nigeria, the British Olympic Association is getting ready to discuss the impact of the recent events on the preparations for the London Olympics. A number of test events are also underway in and around London but no concrete reports have emerged about the remaining fixtures.
Although sports stars like Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and former cricketer Andrew Flintoff have joined hundreds in appealing for an end to the unrest, even an uneasy calm may not evoke full confidence from security personnel's, anytime soon. The Indian cricket team in Birmingham was asked to return to their team hotel and stay put late on Monday night and although the 3rd Test against England at Edgbaston continues to be on schedule, a close look at every security measure is being made.