West Ham and Charlton have postponed tonight’s Carling Cup clashes following a third night of violent riots in London – casting doubt over whether England’s international friendly with Holland will go ahead.
The Hammers were set to host Aldershot at Upton Park later while Reading were scheduled to travel to Charlton, but the games have been cancelled on the request of police.
England are due to face the Dutch at Wembley tomorrow, but the game could be impacted if the trouble fails to show signs of subsiding.
It is understood the FA is planning for the tie as normal and there are no current plans to call the game off.
However talks with the Metropolitan Police, who have the final say on whether the game goes ahead, are expected today.
Scotland Yard today denied reports that it has asked for all major events in London to be postponed, saying that decisions were being made on a local level.
A Met spokesman said: “The MPS has not asked for all major events in London to be postponed.
“Any request for advice by event organisers is assessed locally and local decisions made.”
Crystal Palace are also due to play at Selhurst Park tonight, but the clash with Crawley may also be affected as the stadium is close to Croydon – the scene of some of the worst disorder.
West Ham’s game was the first to be cancelled yesterday, with the npower Championship side saying it was contacted by police yesterday evening.
A statement issued on the club’s website said: “West Ham United have been asked by the police to postpone the Carling Cup first-round tie with Aldershot Town.
“The club were told that all major public events in London were to be rearranged because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere.
“Whilst neither the club or police anticipate any issues around the game itself, the club has to comply with the police request.”
Charlton, whose Valley stadium is close to Lewisham where rioting also erupted last night, postponed their tie shortly after West Ham’s announcement.
A statement on the south London club’s website said: “Given the events in London, the police have taken the sensible decision and postponed the match at The Valley, with Greenwich Borough Police Commander Richard Wood advising the Addicks at 10.55pm on Monday that the match should be called off on safety grounds.”
Charlton’s chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said supporters’ safety was the most important factor.