LONDON – The opening weekend of England's Premier League soccer season could be in jeopardy as police continued Tuesday to stem the tide of violent disorder that has swept London and other English cities in the past few days.
Three Premier League games are due to take place in the capital Saturday but clubs are understood to be ready to take advice from the Metropolitan Police before they decide to postpone or play their matches.
The news comes after Wednesday's England game against Holland was canceled because police have had their resources stretched to the limit and could not look after an estimated crowd of 70,000.
Tottenham Hotspur, whose White Hart Lane stadium is yards from where the disorder began over the weekend, is due to host Everton, Fulham welcomes Aston Villa to Craven Cottage and Queens Park Rangers (QPR) begins its first season back in the top flight league at home against Bolton Wanderers.
All three home teams are waiting to hear from local police forces, who will judge whether they have adequate resources to oversee the matches. Any decision will not be taken until Thursday at the earliest, although at this point there is no concern regarding potential trouble at any of the games.
Tottenham's ticket office was broken into and damaged by vandals Monday.
"Following the disturbances in Tottenham over the weekend, the club has been in ongoing discussions with the necessary authorities regarding this coming weekend's Premier League [game] against Everton," the team said in a statement.
"We can advise fans that at this stage the game is going ahead and the club is doing everything it can to ensure that this remains the position."
PR closed its superstore at 4:00pm local time Tuesday due to the ongoing disorder in west London, particularly Ealing.
With a busy month of games ahead including three rounds of Premier League matches, UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifiers and two England matches, the Premier League will be desperate to avoid a game backlog at such an early stage of the campaign.