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FA hopes to rearrange friendly

England could face Holland next year after Wembley date called off

Last Updated: 09/08/11 6:10pm

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The Football Association is hoping to rearrange England's friendly against the Netherlands for some time next year after the players appealed for calm.

Wednesday's scheduled game at Wembley was called off on Tuesday morning after consultation with the Metropolitan Police following the riots which have affected London in recent days.

The FA's managing director of Club England, Adrian Bevington, issued a statement on behalf of the players, who have appealed for an end to the rioting.

"On behalf of the squad we would like to say that we are disappointed that tomorrow's game will be called off, but obviously we understand the reasons behind the decision and we support it," he said in a statement.

Terrible pictures

"We've all seen the terrible pictures on the television and the most important thing at this time is the safety of the fans and the general public.

"At this time the whole squad would like to appeal for calm and an end to the disorder which has been ongoing."
England squad statement Quotes of the week

"At this time the whole squad would like to appeal for calm and an end to the disorder which has been ongoing."

The decision to scrap the friendly was made before the Dutch squad had travelled to England, although the KNVB had raised the prospect of seeking compensation.

"The police in London could not guarantee the safety of our players and our supporters," said Bert van Oostveen, chief executive of the Dutch federation the KNVB.

He told Voetbal International: "The (commercial) damage runs into millions. I'm hoping for an elegant solution with the English FA."

However, rearranging the game could help to appease the KNVB after the FA praised their Dutch counterparts for their 'co-operation and support during this difficult period'.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: "The Dutch FA were made aware of the situation prior to their departure from Holland and we thank them for their co-operation and support during this difficult period.

"This is not a decision driven by money. The actual costs involved, there is loss of income but we are hoping and believe that the game will be rearranged, hopefully next year, and if that happens all in all the costs will not be very great."

On the matter of compensation, Bevington added: "I have spoken with the chief executive of the Dutch FA this morning, along with various other representatives of the Dutch federation.

"We have also been in written dialogue and the dialogue between ourselves has been extremely positive and the key point here is the game is rearranged at the earliest convenience.

"There are potential slots that come available and any losses by not playing the game can be regained by playing at the earliest possible convenience.

"We have a history of playing the Dutch frequently. This is a reciprocal game from when we played in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. We are committed to playing the Dutch again and will do so."

The FA also confirmed that general admission tickets for the game will be refunded in full.

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