Violence has spread to many boroughs of London after a riot broke out in Tottenham on Saturday [GALLO/GETTY]

England's football friendly against the Netherlands was called off on Tuesday amid the wave of rioting and looting across London.

Violence first broke out late Saturday in the low-income district of Tottenham in north London, where outraged protesters demonstrated against the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was gunned down in disputed circumstances on Thursday.

"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 travelled 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."

Battling Britain

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."

        Ferdinand is one of many suggesting the army get involved in London riots [GALLO/GETTY] 

England defender Rio Ferdinand described the escalating violence as "madness"' and questioned whether soldiers should be put on the streets of the British capital.

"It seems these kids/people have no fear or respect for the police....maybe the army will get that respect??" Ferdinand tweeted.

"The presence of the army may make these kids/people think twice about continuing this??"

Four 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.

As the violence spread to other cities in the UK, Bristol City's match against Swindon was also called off for safety reasons.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen said on Monday night that doors had been locked at the team hotel in Birmingham.

Source: Agencies