Football: Olympic security reviewed after London violence

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

British officials vowed to review security plans for the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday as a third day of rioting forced the cancellation of England's football match against the Netherlands.

Widespread unrest across the British capital, and the apparent inability of police to deal swiftly with multiple outbreaks of violence, have prompted questions over security plans for next summer's sports extravaganza.

British Home Secretary Theresa May said officials would "look at what is necessary" to ensure a trouble-free Olympics, where police will be aiming to provide security for some 10,500.

"We take the issues around the Olympics very seriously," May told BBC radio.

"An awful lot of work has already gone into planning in relation to the security and public order in relation to the Olympics and we will continue to monitor that and continue to look at what is necessary and what we need."

A London 2012 spokeswoman added: "A lot of detailed work has taken place regarding security plans for the Games and we will continue to review them together with the Met Police and the Home Office over the coming year."

The violence came as around 200 senior Olympic officials were in London for three days of meetings to address issues including transport and accommodation for athletes.

The British sporting world reacted with disgust to the scenes of carnage in London, which has spread to several cities across Britain.

"In less than one year we welcome the world to London and right now the world doesn't want to come," British distance runner Paula Radcliffe tweeted.

Fellow athlete Kelly Sotherton added: "Bring in the army. How the hell can the police deal with this!?"

British Olympic officials meanwhile expressed confidence that London would be able to host a trouble-free games.

"We know the level of work and we know the level of planning that has gone into it," British Olympic Association director of communications Darryl Seibel told Sky Sports News.

"This is not a reflection of London, this is a reflection of the world we live in today."

The comments came as football chiefs confirmed England's friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley scheduled for Wednesday night had been cancelled.

"It is with regret that tomorrow's international fixture with Holland at Wembley (Wednesday 10 August) has been called-off," an FA statement said.

The unprecedented decision followed the earlier postponement of League Cup matches involving West Ham, Charlton and Crystal Palace after police advice.

England star Rio Ferdinand responded to the announcement on micro-blogging site Twitter.

"England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game of football when our country is in turmoil," Ferdinand wrote.

"The solution to this is not to just clean up the glass, it's to stop the glass breaking in the first place," Ferdinand added in a separate post.

The Manchester United defender had earlier called for an end to the violence which has raged across Britain.

"The scenes on Sky news right now are shocking..what is this all in aid of?? Innocent peoples homes + livelihoods have gone up in smoke-why?" Ferdinand said.

"It seems these kids/people have no fear or respect for the police....maybe the army will get that respect??

Team-mate Wayne Rooney added: "These riots are nuts why would people do this to there (sic) own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please."

Authorities in Birmingham, another city marred by violence on Monday, meanwhile said England's cricket match against India was set to get under way as planned on Wednesday.

"Everything is as normal at this stage. We will continue on that basis unless we are told anything different," a spokesman for the England and Wales Cricket Board said during practice at Edgbaston.

© 2011 AFP

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