Tottenham match postponed over London riots

London club's game against Everton on Saturday postponed, but all other Premier League matches in capital to go ahead.

    The week-long wave of violence that has gripped Britain began in Tottenham [Reuters]

    Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League opening game against Everton on Saturday has been postponed due
    to this week's riots in the UK, the club has said.

    The decision was announced on Thursday after violence spread throughout several cities, raising concerns about the safety of spectators and players.

    The trouble first started last Saturday in the Tottenham area not far from the club's White Hart Lane ground, when a protest over the shooting by police of a suspect two days earlier led to violence.

    "Following ongoing discussions with the necessary authorities ... it has now been confirmed that this fixture will be postponed due to safety concerns relating to infrastructure of the High Road and access to the stadium caused by last Saturday's riots," Tottenham Hotspur said on their website.

    In a statement on Thursday, the Premier League said "aside from the postponed Tottenham Hotspur versus Everton match, all league games in the capital will go ahead as scheduled this weekend".

    Other matches had already been called off this week, including an international friendly between England and the Netherlands at Wembley scheduled for Wednesday, but the Tottenham game is the first Premier League match to be hit.

    Al Jazeera's Lee Wellings, reporting from London, said: "The Tottenham, Everton game was always the most vulnerable. Tottenham was where the trouble started on Saturday night.

    "You have implications in terms of policing and trying to get a safety certificate. It is not a security area at the moment.

    "We should make it clear that the worry is not that there will some hooliganism at the matches. It is more about whether the police can cope and whether the area is secure."

    A surge in police numbers helped calm streets on Wednesday night after four nights of disorder, which has led to more than 1,000 arrests.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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