It is unclear as yet whether a quieter night in London last night makes it more likely that Saturday’s Premier League matches in London will go ahead. With Fulham facing Aston Villa, Bolton playing newbies Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham hosting Everton and lower league matches scheduled too, tens of thousands of fans would be affected by any disruption.
The Premier League was hedging its bets yesterday, saying in a statement that: “with the information currently available there is no reason to think any matches outside of London will be affected”. However, both the League and the Met are stressing the “dynamic nature of the current situation”. An update tomorrow is being promised.
Certainly if there is any question of police numbers needing to be diverted from anti-riot duty, the matches will be postponed. This comes after the Football Association cancelled England’s friendly match with Holland at Wembley on this week, and domestic teams – West Ham, Charlton and Crystal Palace – pulled their fixtures.
UPDATE: as reported by the BBC, Football League chairman Greg Clarke has said matches will be scratched if the police are needed elsewhere. “We have to support the police and the government in making the streets safe… If they need to move police away from football games, we will cancel those football games.” he said.
Photo courtesy of Gaz-zee-boh, via the Londonist Flickr pool.