MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 10:54:49

FA keen to re-arrange abandoned Dutch friendly

FA keen to re-arrange abandoned Dutch friendly
© PA Photos
The Football Association seek to rearrange the cancelled friendly with the Netherlands.

The Football Association are hoping to rearrange tomorrow's cancelled friendly against The Netherlands.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, chairman David Bernstein said the FA had done "the only thing [it] could do" in axing the game at Wembley amid widespread, violent riots throughout London.

"I'm incredibly sad," he said. "Millions of people would have watched this game. But we have to put safety and security matters first, there's no question about that."

Bernstein confirmed that the FA did not believe that the game itself would be a target for antisocial activity, but the fallout from the riots had made it untenable. "It was a question of the resource and a question of transportation. There were a lot of concerns about protection of players travelling in coaches and so on. At the end of the day we were not in a position to be given the licence we were needed to open the stadium."

FA's England managing director Adrian Bevington denied reports of anger from the Dutch FA and said both sides were discussing when to reschedule the fixture.

"I've spoken with the chief executive of the Dutch FA this morning and the dialogue between ourselves has been extremely positive," he said. "A key point here is the game is rearranged and played at the earliest convenience. There are potential slots that could become available. Any losses could be regained by playing the fixture at the earliest convenience. We are committed to playing the Dutch again and we will do so."

> Click here for full coverage of how the riots are affecting UK sporting fixtures

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Gabriel Obertan
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