Cahill backing for Premier League postponement


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The Independent Online

Everton's Tim Cahill insists people must come before football after the club's Premier League opener, which was due to be played tomorrow against Tottenham Hotspur was postponed.

Cahill said that disruption to the new football season would have to be tolerated. The Australian midfielder, who has lived in the UK for the last 15 years, stated: "It's a sad state that the country is going through. I've been in England most of my life and I never thought something like this would happen in a place like this.

"What has happened is something far bigger than football and if that means cancelling a game then that's fine. The priority has to be the people. The last few days shows that football is just a game."

It is a disappointment for Cahill, who looked back to full fitness following last season's injury problems when he scored the first goal in Australia's 2-1 win over Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday, the same night England's fixture at Wembley was called off.

He, along with the rest of the Everton squad, have been glued to their television screens and Cahill insisted that the Premier League bosses would have to consider extending the season, if more games are called off.

"The lads want to play, but only for the right reasons," Cahill said. "If that means we have to sacrifice an extra week at the end of the season, then so be it."

Spurs game is only one to fall

Tottenham's home game against Everton tomorrow is the only Premier League fixture postponed after the week's rioting across the country after the local Haringey Council decided it would be unable to grant the club a safety licence in time.

The area around Spurs' White Hart Lane stadium is still regarded by the Metropolitan Police as a crime scene and they have told the council they can only "hand it back" at 6pm today at the latest. The council has the final say on whether the game can take place and it feels that it will be too late for it to ensure the area is safe for fans to arrive for a 3pm kick-off tomorrow.

Otherwise there are no changes to games or kick-off times across all four divisions of the Premier League and the Football League, contingent on there being no further trouble over the next 24 hours.

Sam Wallace