London’s Burning, So Sports Aren’t Happening
Most of those following the rioting in London are understandably focused on the damage inflicted on the city, which evokes to us what might happen if "London Calling" by The Clash came to life. Or perhaps they might be expressing amazement that so many involved don't really know why they're rioting (initially, a shooting by police spurred on protests, but it quickly spiraled into something way beyond that).
Something probably not quite as much on their mind: sports. But sports are a part of daily life, and as such, they're impacted by this rampant, pointless violence just like anything else. So it's disappointing, but not surprising, that a friendly international football match between England and Holland scheduled for Wednesday won't be played. A sampling of reactions (all approving of the decision), via The Guardian:
Gareth Southgate, the FA's head of elite development, tweeted: "Right decision. Enough pressure on police force." [England defender] Rio Ferdinand tweeted: "England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game of football when our country is in turmoil." Bert van Oostveen, the chief executive of the Dutch federation the KNVB, said: "The police in London could not guarantee the safety of our players and our supporters."
We're inclined to agree: what's happening is a terrible thing, but it is happening - no use ignoring it and potentially making things even worse. Some other prominent sports figures in the area weighed in as well, with Wayne Rooney and Andy Murray both lamenting the violence. Let's hope those cooler heads prevail over there, and quickly.
AP photo (Lewis Whyld), via boston.com's The Big Picture
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