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England Cancels Holland Match Due to London Riots: Attention Turns to EPL

enfield fire1 England Cancels Holland Match Due to London Riots: Attention Turns to EPL

Photo by Steven Kelly

UPDATE: The Premier League has announced that all matches this weekend are expected to go ahead except for Tottenham against Everton. Of course, this is subject to change based on what happens in England in the next 48 hours. “Acting on current information from the authorities there is no reason to believe that matches outside of London will be affected at this time,” said the Premier League statement.

England’s international friendly against the Netherlands on Wednesday has been cancelled due to civil unrest in England. In addition to that, four Carling Cup games have been postponed. And the fear now is that this weekend’s opening fixtures in the Premier League could be affected.

Sickening scenes of violence erupted in London on Saturday night and have continued through today, spreading throughout the capital city and into Birmingham and Liverpool. Looting has been widespread. Buildings have been set alight, and fear has gripped the country.

The riots began Saturday in protest against a young man who was shot and killed by police last Thursday. But the copycat violence, with young men wielding sticks and wearing hoodies, spread across London and into cities such as Bristol, around Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre and into Toxteth, outside Liverpool.

Earlier this week, the ticket office at White Hart Lane was vandalized after riots in the Tottenham area of London. As a result of the violence, Tottenham closed their Megastore and shut down their tours of White Hart Lane. The club has been in discussions with the authorities regarding this Saturday’s home match against Everton. No decision has been made yet whether to postpone the game.

As a British citizen, seeing the scenes of violence on television and the Internet is sickening and embarrassing. The disregard that these young hoodlums have for their own country and other citizens is awful. As the young men go through the streets, wrecking cars, smashing shop windows and burning down buildings, they’re ruining the lives of normal upstanding citizens who have worked hard to earn what they have.

Even Wayne Rooney was sickened by what he saw on television, commenting on Twitter that “These riots are nuts. Why would people do this to there [sic] own country [and] own city? This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please.”

Here’s raw video footage of some of the fires and riots in London. The fires, by the way, are the worst that London has seen since The Blitz, when German planes bombed London during World War II:

For selfish reasons, I hope the riots and fires stop so we can watch the Premier League on television this weekend. But for the people of the United Kingdom, I hope this civil disobedience ends so they don’t have to live in fear for their lives.

Thankfully the British police are responding in numbers and will flood London. But even if order is returned to London, it does make you wonder about the underbelly of the country, the youths who are out of work, focused on looting and generating violence. It’s a sad sight to see and a sad indication of where the country is heading.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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50 Responses to England Cancels Holland Match Due to London Riots: Attention Turns to EPL

  1. TJ says:

    I live in the United States (born and raised) and I am a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan. The violence and riots in England and within the past couple of years throughout the world is frightening. The suffering economy and joblessness in many places have created an atmosphere that is explosive. I have heard it compared to a barrel of gasoline or oil. A barrel of oil by itself is not too dangerous. Add a match (the police shooting of the young man) to the barrel and you get an explosive, dangerous fire.

    I truly hope people will start to realize violent riots accomplish nothing and change nothing. Jobs will not be created and the economy will not improve because a building was set on fire or a car was destroyed. This is not the path to change and the faster this is realized, the better off everyone will be.

    • Mike says:

      Those that are rioting at the moment generally aren’t trying to improve the situation, TJ. They’re simply taking advantage of the unrest in Tottenham to loot and cause general mayhem in other parts of the country.

      So there is no “realiziation” for them to have.

      • Pedro says:

        +1 from me on your comment Mike. I’ve been in a number of situations where anarchists take advantage of popular unrest over actions of the government to wreak destruction. I doubt many of the people who are in the streets protesting the austerity measures that are harming their futures are the ones burning and looting, but it can be hard in the moment to avoid providing cover for these guys. The shop owners that are being victimized when they had nothing to do with the policies that are being protested.

        Too bad this means all the bankster crooks and their friends in government who caused the fiscal mess in the first place, while discussing amongst themselves in their expensive suites at Premier League games, can point to the violence to delegitimize the quite well justified grievances of the protesters.

        • TJ says:

          I definitely see what you are both saying. I am sure most of the people looting and rioting have no intentions of making a point or changing anything within the broken financial system. However, as Pedro pointed out, these riots take away from the legitimate points being made by organized and peaceful protests/demonstrations/grievances of law abiding citizens.

          • Eric F. says:

            Are supermarkets being looted? Looks like its sporting goods, electronics and the like that are targets. These people aren’t starving, they are better off than 90+% of the planet’s population. Looting sneakers and ipods is as rank a form of greed as any. What are they “protesting”?

          • Jamie says:

            So your argument is: “Others have it worse, so suck it up and stop complaining”. What a shill argument, allows the powers to be to give a base level of services to its people– just enough that it is slightly better then the worlds worst areas– but not enough to allow enjoy the basic enjoyments that most others have.

          • Eric F. says:

            That’s your problem right there. The premise that people have what some secret elite lets them have is just way off.

          • Dave C says:

            I’ve been reading the Guardian recently, and (not surprisingly for that paper), there’s a desperate attempt to find a political motivation for these riots. I think to do so is to credit the rioters with more intelligence than they deserve – these are just kids getting out of control because they can.

            They making some kind of political statement no more than any crowd of football hooligans, or the kids who “wild out” at certain festivals in NYC.

          • Dave C says:

            @EricF
            That’s your problem right there. The premise that people have what some secret elite lets them have is just way off.

            Spot on – if these kids aren’t happy with the “base level of services” given to them by “the powers that be”, then what have they been doing about the situation…have they worked hard in school to make the most of the free education “given” to them? Have they tried getting a job so they can earn money, instead of relying on what is “given” to them?

  2. Andrei says:

    So was FIFA right not to reward England with hosting WC 2018?

  3. Ben says:

    I just hope no games will be cancelled saturday, I am Canadian and I love to watch an EPL game on saturday morning with my coffee, can’t wait for the season to start.

  4. Dave says:

    There were revolutions in Egypt and Libya for basic freedoms and then you have people in London rioting for a brand new 42″ plasma TV

  5. Bob says:

    Some of you are missing the point of these riots. It seems a lot of these news organizations are afraid to report the obvious. These are blacks rioting over the shooting death of another black. Most of these riots are starting in black neighborhoods across the London area. Of course you always get the copycat idiots that go out and riot and loot as well for no specific reason. I’m sure a lot of these people who are rioting and looting don’t even give a crap about England since a lot of these people are African immigrants. I don’t understand why the news is afraid to point out the obvious that the blacks started this mess.

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      That might be how it started but now it’s just an excuse. It’s just a bunch of pathetic little arseholes who need a good kicking. Trouble is we’re too bloody soft in this country. They should be given a curfew and told that anyone left on the streets afterwards are fair game for a slap.

      Best suggestion I’ve heard is set the lions from London zoo on them.

      As for not getting awarded the world cup, get over it. If these were football fans not a majority bunch of black kids they’d be getting the living daylights beat out of them by the police. Believe me I’ve been there minding my own business and we get treated with impunity by the police, they definitely don’t stand back and watch.

      • trickybrkn says:

        yeah, throw animals at the mob.

        how about you have deploy more police to a mob then to the Royal Wedding.

        and from what I’ve seen, the looters are racially mixed.

    • Jamie says:

      Yeah I’m sure if the police went out more aggressively their wouldn’t be more rioting. Nice logic numbnutz.

    • trickybrkn says:

      Bob’s yur idiot

    • Harry says:

      I have been following this all week and listened to talksport for about 2 hrs yesterday and this eerily sounds familiar to some of the same issues that have plagued the US for nearly 4 centuries but no one wants to just say it.

      I heard Britons who called in as well as the talk show hosts complain about some of the same things stopping short of saying the races of people involved, it was all about “those people” having babies at young ages, “those people” who get free this and that, “these poeple” who have taken over the country and so on.

      Now (not) suprisingly, the gentlemen Marc Duggan was profiled by police and was killed because, TADA, “he fit the description”. In the US we have had too many recent inceidents of cops shooting innocent minorities men and getting slapped on the wrist, but we have been somewhat fortunate that people didn’t see fit to burn their cities down due to this.

      While it was wrong for them to do, this should serve as a wake up call for England as well as the US because history (for us Americans at the least) may repeat again if the cops get off easily.

      The UK needs to do whatever it can to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. This rioting should bring light to what is and what isn’t being done to make sure that the under privledged have just as much access to services that others do. it’s not en easy problem to solve but at least examining and trying to fix those problems beats letting them fester any day.

      • Dave C says:

        Harry,
        I don’t doubt that there’s a racial element that the press are probably under-reporting. The looters are overwhelmingly black, and I’ve heard that in various parts of London, vigilante groups of white and seikh men are forming to defend their communities from the looters. But some of the things you pointed out “these people having too many babies too soon, not working, expecting everything for free, etc etc” could have been genuinely used to talk about a real, racially-non-specific underclass that people believe exists in Britain.

        As for the Mark Duggan incident – the investigation is still ongoing, so unless you were a witness or a member of the police/IPCC privvy to info that has yet to be released to the public, you’re just speculating. I haven’t heard a single source claim that Duggan was shot “because he fit a description”, so I’d be inclined to believe that you simply made that up.

        • Harry says:

          Dave C

          “But some of the things you pointed out “these people having too many babies too soon, not working, expecting everything for free, etc etc” could have been genuinely used to talk about a real, racially-non-specific underclass that people believe exists in Britain.”

          ^^^ Understand and make sure you read me correctly…this is what was said on the radio program from callers. And this is the same thing that I wholeheartedly agree with as you put it could apply to anyone. Here in the US as much as some here try to make poverty a minority issue, some will be shocked ot learn that it’s more whites than blacks that are (and stay on) welfare.

          “As for the Mark Duggan incident – the investigation is still ongoing, so unless you were a witness or a member of the police/IPCC privvy to info that has yet to be released to the public, you’re just speculating. I haven’t heard a single source claim that Duggan was shot “because he fit a description”, so I’d be inclined to believe that you simply made that up.”

          You may be right, let’s wait for the evidence, but from what I have read so far, Mr. Duggan had no priors, also as the news reports have stated so far he aslo had no firearms, so he may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but also, I know from experience, being the wrong color, in the worng place, at the wrong time can cause things like this to happen…go look up the Sean Bell murder in New York City.

          • Dave C says:

            This thread might be old and dormant by now, and you might have been writing based on some now-outdated info, but it’s actually pretty well established that Duggan WAS carrying a firearm when he was shot.

            Also, I don’t need to look up Sean Bell – I actually lived in that neighborhood at that time. He also wasn’t shot merely for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time”. He was shot because (a) his friends had been heard (by witnesses) to say that they were going to go to their car and get their gun, and (b) once in that car, he tried to run down a police officer. I think it’s sad that he subsequently turned out to be unarmed, and perhaps the police did not identify themselves sufficiently, but to say he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” or “matched the description” is wrong.

  6. M says:

    And yet england will still carry on about libya,egypt etc. even though riots are taking place in their own country albeit the reasoning maybe different.Before the world cup in south africa,english newspapers portrayed south africa as a hooligan country,but the youth seem to have shown their true colours,well some of them.
    Look at america also,want to worry about the worlds problems when they’re bankrupt

    • Eric F. says:

      I have the suspicion that when the U.S. tries to help solve the world’s problems, this is a source of outrage for you, and when the U.S. does not try to solve the world’s problems this is also a source of outrage for you.

  7. Matthew says:

    Of course now this is a real possibility of more games being cancelled since the police have failed completely in controlling this mess. Lazy worthless bits of trash stealing and hurting people have complete controlled of the streets. All I hear is about the cuts in services and whining that follows. Do people really think the bits of trash on streets would be setting in a library reading a book? At the very least rubber bullets and water cannons should be use. I would go a step further and send in the army and shoot the looters on sight. You want to act like an animal then you can be treated as one. The only thing that these thugs understand is brute force.

    • omakbob says:

      Let them eat cake!

    • MNUfan1991 says:

      Abso-fracking-lutely mate.
      What’s wrong with shooting rioters and looters on-site? Give them 5 mins of warning to surrender, then shoot everyone who does not.
      Those without respect of other’s properties deserve nothing less than the harshest of punishments.

      • JFH says:

        What’s wrong with shooting rioters and looters on-site? Quite simply that’s the kind of tactics used by dictators and repressive regimes. I don’t pretend to understand what it feels like to live through something like this but once the government starts shooting its own people, the thing has been lost.

  8. Matthew says:

    Send in a few battalions of the Parachute regiment and the Royal Marines and the streets would be cleared so dam fast their thuggish heads would be spinning.

  9. BA14 says:

    so would cancelling the Spurs match on saturday make the situation worse and would it calm some of the people down.

  10. dlink09 says:

    will spurs pay the bill for all the damages?

    does England have riot act or curfews???

  11. Pete says:

    This isn’t a protest, it’s thugs looking for stuff to rob. Second, don’t pull the poor area rubbish, i grew up working class and for a few years during my childhood we didn’t have enough to eat and no money to buy any bread let alone a new TV. I didn’t go out and start robbing, neither did my friends who also had nothing.
    Being young in the 70′ and 80′s was a damn site more tough for a lot people than it is nowadays.
    What’s going on out there is greed and an unwillingness to work or look for work.
    Everyone gets free school, free college, even university is free if your parents don’t have money. They get a roof over their head and enough food on the table, all given to them. That’s besides free healthcare and free dental and they are still not happy.
    As for the guy who was shot, he was a drug dealer with a loaded gun. You aren’t even allowed handguns in this country, yet he’s waving it at the police, what do people want, do they want him to shoot a policeman before they are allowed to fire back?
    These thugs don’t care about him anymore than I do, they are using it as an excuse to steal.
    They need shooting, not soft tactics, it’s soft tactics that have got England into this mess, thugs who believe they can do what they want.
    it’s just been on the TV that an old man has died in hospital after he tried to stop these thugs looting his shop.

    P.S I wouldn’t count on any games being on at the weekend, this has gone crazy now, riots in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol

    • Harry says:

      Regardless of who he was, he was gunned down in cold blood by cops.

      You may want to also read the press release

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/mark-duggan-police-ipcc

      interesting that the police officer used a non standard issue firearm.

      And see this video while you are at it:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biJgILxGK0o&feature=share

      • Pete says:

        I’ve already seen both the article and the video. What the IPCC find or doesn’t find makes no difference whatsoever. Enough info has been given already.

        1. He was a drug dealer, well known to the police and the public in his area
        2. He was carrying a loaded handgun which is illegal in the U.K

        People can argue about whether he should have been shot or not but lets not kid ourselves, this guy was no Saint and no loss to society.
        if you’re looking for me to give sympathy to a drug dealer carrying a loaded gun then you’re barking up the wrong tree.

        My sympathy is going to the 5 or 6 innocent people who have been killed during these riots protecting their shops, not some scumbag drug dealer.

      • Dave C says:

        Harry, as I said above, you should wait for the investigation to be completed and the facts revealed before you start sensationalizing the issue by saying he was shot because he “matched the description”, or that he was “shot in cold blood”.

        What do you even mean by “shot in cold blood”. Do you think he was unarmed, and that the cop deliberately, premeditatively executed him knowing this?

        Ps. the Guardian article you link to does not say that the police used a non-standard issue firearm. It says that a “non-police firearm was found at the scene” – a track & field starter pistol which had been converted to fire live, deadly rounds. It also says Duggan was armed with a loaded gun (presumably the converted starter-pistol mentioned in the last sentence, unless you try to suggest that he was carrying a different gun, and that the starter-pistol belonged to some one else). No where is there any suggestion that Duggan was shot with anything other than a standard police gun. Why would he be?

  12. eplnfl says:

    What appeared to be a true concern and protest over the shooting by the police which many members of the north London area assert was unjustified has turned into apparent organized looting on a large scale throughout the country. No need for me to try to explain from this side of the Atlantic the causes or course of events but it does call for followers of the EPL to question what goes on beyond our tv screens.

    What seems to be a rather content UK public in the stands every weekend have given us a false impression apparently of English society. Followers here should be concerned about what is going on in the streets of London and other cities in England and show our concern and interest in the efforts to restore order and repair damage and meet legitimate concerns that caused the trouble.

    Hopefully we can find some way to assist those in need and those who are trying to restore order. Its the least we can do for all of the enjoyment we take from the league and its fans.

  13. eplnfl says:

    Some are making the point that the games going on as planned would be a sign of a return to normalcy but also that the criminals are not going to be in control. The other argument is that the police and security agents are so heavily engaged they can’t be assigned to the games.

  14. Joe956 says:

    A few snipers on the roof tops should put a little terror in those measly feral rats running around.

  15. m says:

    Tripoli – The regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday called for British Prime Minister David Cameron to step down, saying he had “lost all legitimacy” because of the riots shaking Britain.

    “Cameron and his government must leave after the popular uprising against them and the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations by police,” official news agency Jana quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim as saying.

    “Cameron and his government have lost all legitimacy,” he said.

    “These demonstrations show that the British people reject this government which is trying to impose itself through force.”

    Kaaim called on the UN “Security Council and the international community to not stay with its arms crossed in the face of the flagrant violation of the rights of the British people”.

    Nightly riots which began in London and quickly spread to other major cities have gripped Britain since Saturday when an angry crowd marched to demand justice after 29-year-old Marc Duggan was shot dead by police in London.

    Britain and France are spearheading Nato’s aerial bombing campaign against the Gaddafi regime since March, when the United Nations approved action to protect Libyan civilians.

  16. Lyle says:

    Football doesn’t need to be cancelled. Football fans can handle the yobs. The yobs won’t be near any football ground on Saturday, I’d think. They’d literally get murdered.

  17. Josphat Kimani says:

    I think the Government of UK should deploy the armed forces to assist the local police in order to end this riots. The many the forces are the better. We are waiting to watch opening matches of Barclays premier league and we cannot afford to let this bastards continue to loot their cities.

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