Rio stunned by London riots

Peckham-raised England defender Rio Ferdinand has expressed shock at the rioting which has escalated in London and spread to other cities.

Peckham-raised England defender Rio Ferdinand has expressed shock at the rioting which has escalated in London and spread to other cities.

England’s friendly against Holland at Wembley tomorrow could come under threat as a result of the trouble, which yesterday affected Peckham and many other districts of the capital.

Already Carling Cup matches at West Ham and Charlton have been postponed, on the instructions of police. West Ham were tonight due to play Aldershot while Charlton were scheduled to face Reading.

The England match last night remained on and planning was continuing as normal.

Events on the streets of London have made it inevitable police will look closely at the fixture though, given the resources which will be required for a match expected to be attended by around 70,000 spectators.

It is understood the Football Association will leave any decision to the Metropolitan Police.

Ferdinand, 32, was last night watching television pictures of the violent scenes which saw vehicles and property go up in flames and shops looted, and suggested the Army should be brought in to quell the disorder.

He wrote in three consecutive messages on Twitter: “The scenes on Sky news right now are shocking..what is this all in aid of?? Innocent peoples [sic] homes + livelihoods have gone up in smoke-why?

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

“And I am not saying bring violence, I am saying the presence of the army may make these kids/people think twice about continuing this??”

Ferdinand’s England and Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney pleaded for the trouble to stop.

Rooney wrote on Twitter: “These riots are nuts why would people do this to there [sic] own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please.”

Crystal Palace are scheduled to play Crawley at Selhurst Park tonight. That may also be affected, given the stadium is close to the scenes of yesterday’s disorder in Croydon.

West Ham last night announced the postponement of their match against Aldershot in a statement on their website.

It said: “The club were contacted this evening and 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.

“No date has yet been set for the rearranged match but the club will be in contact with the Football League and Aldershot.”

Charlton followed with confirmation their match against Reading would have to be rescheduled.

A statement on Charlton’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 chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said: “The police have told us they believe the match should be postponed on safety grounds and obviously we have taken that advice.”

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