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Spurs players plead for games to be called-off

A number of Tottenham players have urged the Premier League to call off the opening fixtures in London this weekend.

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A number of Tottenham players have urged the Premier League to call off the opening fixtures in London this weekend.

Days of rioting across London saw four Carling Cup games postponed last night while England’s friendly against Holland is definitely off.

Rafael Van der Vaart, Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto have asked the footballing authorities to see sense ahead of the games, which include Fulham taking on Aston Villa and Premier League new boys QPR hosting Bolton Wanderers. 

All three fixtures are set to kick-off at 3pm, adding to the workload of an already over-stretched workforce.

“I was really surprised by what happened in Tottenham,” French international Kaboul said.

“We don’t know whether we will be able to play this Saturday, as the riots are spreading across London. They look like they’re getting pretty serious.

“If it is too dangerous, it would be preferable to postpone the match for the sake of the fans’ safety.

“That is even though it is annoying for us players, especially as it is the first league game of the season. But you have to put people’s safety above everything else.”

Van der Vaart, who was set to play for Holland tonight, threw his weight behind Kaboul’s statement that the game should not go ahead.

“I ask myself whether the league matches at the weekend will be able to go ahead. Right now, I can’t imagine it,” he added

“I saw the TV pictures from London and the chaos there at present is unbelievable. With things as they are, there is simply no way to organise a big international match safely.

“My wife Sylvie is over in England but I’ve not phoned her. Thankfully, everything is OK. It has remained calm where we live.”

Assou-Ekotto is also wary of playing this weekend while slamming the minority who have participated in the rioting.

“Like in any riot, it’s a minority who are messing things up,” he said

“Most people are very well brought up and very respectful. I’ve never had any problems.

“It’s the effect of the mob and not everyone is strong enough to stay outside of it all. They’ve smashed things up that people have worked hard to get.

“It’s a shame, because it’s not going to bring anyone back to life.

“I hope the match against Everton goes ahead. The season is busy enough as it is.

“If we don’t play the first match, it will mean playing two games in a week. We play enough of those in England. I hope sport will calm things down.”

A decision is expected to be announced Thursday when the Met and Premier League chiefs re-convene once again to review the ongoing situation.

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