Tottenham match postponed, rest to go ahead

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The Independent Online

The Premier League have confirmed that the nine remaining top-flight matches in the opening round will go ahead after Tottenham's match against Everton was postponed due to this week's riots.

Spurs' match cannot go ahead as a result of trouble in the area last weekend, which quickly spread to other boroughs of London and to other major English cities as the week went on.

However, the Premier League do not expect any other games to be called off, while the Football League also expect their entire weekend programme to be unaffected.

A Premier League statement read: "Following on-going discussions with the Metropolitan Police, statutory authorities and clubs in London, the Premier League can confirm that, aside from the postponed Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match, all League games in the capital will go ahead as scheduled this weekend.

"The Premier League has worked closely with the authorities and London-based clubs throughout the recent civil unrest to ensure matches are staged in accordance with supporter safety.

"While all efforts were made to try and facilitate the Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match by the Metropolitan Police and the local authority, the situation on the Tottenham High Road proved too difficult to overcome.

"The Premier League would like to thank the Metropolitan Police and all the other relevant police forces for their efforts and on-going communication during this difficult time.

"Acting on current information from the authorities there is no reason to believe that matches outside of London will be affected at this time."

Despite the Football League's confident statement that all league games would go ahead, within hours it was confirmed that the npower League Two clash between Cheltenham and Swindon had been postponed on the advice of Gloucestershire Police.

In a statement issued to the club's website, Cheltenham club secretary Paul Godfrey said: "Obviously we're disappointed because Saturday was going to be a great occasion and should have been a good match.

"However security and safety at the match is paramount and we understand that, because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere, it will not be possible to deploy the number of officers that would normally be required for this fixture.

"For that reason, police have advised us that the match should be postponed on safety grounds and, following consultations with the Football League, this is the decision that has been taken reluctantly but in the best interests of everybody concerned."