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Man City 16:15 Tottenham

Spurs stars call for calm

Kaboul, Van der Vaart & Assou-Ekotto fear game could be called off

Last Updated: 10/08/11 8:28am

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Three members of Tottenham's first-team squad admit they are unsure whether they will face Everton on Saturday.

The new Premier League season is due to get underway this weekend, but civil unrest around the country has thrown the fixture list into chaos.

With London having experienced three nights of rioting, games in the capital are at risk of being cancelled.

England's friendly date with Holland, which was due to be staged at Wembley on Wednesday, has already been called off and more matches could follow.

Spurs insist they are still hopeful of getting their meeting with Everton at White Hart Lane on, but Rafael van der Vaart, Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto accept that there is every chance local police forces will call for the start of the 2011/12 campaign to be delayed.

French defender Kaboul said: "I was really surprised by what happened in Tottenham.


"We don't know whether we will be able to play this Saturday, as the riots are spreading across London. They look like they're getting pretty serious.

"If it is too dangerous, it would be preferable to postpone the match for the sake of the fans' safety.

"That is even though it is annoying for us players, especially as it is the first league game of the season. But you have to put people's safety above everything else."

Dutch midfielder Van der Vaart, who had been due to face England in midweek, added: "I ask myself whether the league matches at the weekend will be able to go ahead. Right now, I can't imagine it.

"I saw the TV pictures from London and the chaos there at present is unbelievable. With things as they are, there is simply no way to organise a big international match safely. My wife Sylvie is over in England but I've not phoned her. Thankfully, everything is OK. It has remained calm where we live."

Cameron international Assou-Ekotto is also wary of playing amid the violence.


He said: "Like in any riot, it's a minority who are messing things up.

"Most people are very well brought up and very respectful. I've never had any problems.

"It's the effect of the mob and not everyone is strong enough to stay outside of it all. They've smashed things up that people have worked hard to get.

"It's a shame, because it's not going to bring anyone back to life.

"I hope the match against Everton goes ahead. The season is busy enough as it is.

"If we don't play the first match, it will mean playing two games in a week. We play enough of those in England. I hope sport will calm things down."

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