EPL chiefs mull postponement amid violence

LONDON, Aug 10, 2011 (AFP) - English Premier League chiefs will decide on Thursday whether the opening round of fixtures will go ahead as British cities grapple with widespread rioting, a statement said.

Although relative calm returned to London's streets on Tuesday night, outbreaks of violence in Birmingham and Manchester have raised fresh question marks against this weekend's Premier League kick-off.

AFP - A member of the public takes pictures of the damage to the shop front of a retail store in Manchester City Centre on August 10, 2011, following a fourth night of violence in Britain.

Both the Premier League and Football League are to meet on Thursday to decide whether games in London this weekend will go ahead.

"The Premier League and Football League are saddened by the recent incidents of civil unrest and the effect it is having on local communities," a joint statement said.

"We are in ongoing discussions with our London-based clubs, the Metropolitan Police and statutory authorities in regard to the staging of the coming weekend's fixtures in the capital.

"The Metropolitan Police has conveyed to us the dynamic nature of the current situation and with that in mind all parties will review the situation on Thursday and make a further public statement at that time.

"With the information currently available to us there is no reason to think any matches outside of London will be affected.

"We are conscious of the need to keep fans informed of any developments and will, of course, keep them as up to date as possible through club, league and media channels."

England's friendly against Holland, due to take place at Wembley on Wednesday, was scrapped along with an international between Ghana and Nigeria at Watford on Tuesday.

Several League Cup matches involving London clubs on Tuesday were also postponed.

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