rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: Chelsea v United called off as England freezes

EPL: Chelsea v United called off as England freezes

December 18, 2010 21:12 IST

Britain's sporting weekend was decimated by heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures with Sunday's Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Manchester United among the hundreds of fixtures to be called off.

The hugely anticipated top-of-the table clash was one of six weekend Premier League games to be postponed as conditions around stadiums were often deemed too dangerous even if the under-soil heated pitches were in playable condition.

Only Sunderland against Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers against West Ham United were given the go-ahead on Saturday.

West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers was still due to be played on Sunday while no decision has yet been made about Manchester City's Monday night game at home against Everton.

Arsenal had been due to play Stoke City on Saturday when a win would have taken them top of the table but after heavy snow began to fall in the morning the game was called off.

"Further to a huge deluge of snow in north London starting over Emirates Stadium at 11.38am, the match referee Lee Mason made the decision at 12.07pm to postpone today's match," the club said in a statement.

"Approximately three inches of snow fell over this half hour period and there continues to be heavy snowfall with no apparent let-up."

Liverpool's evening kickoff at home to Fulham was also a victim of the Arctic conditions with temperatures predicted to drop to minus six Celcius.

"The safety of all fans attending the game is paramount and although the Anfield pitch is playable, the conditions around the stadium and further afield for people travelling to the match are such that the decision was taken, following police advice on safety grounds, to postpone the game," the club said.

Wigan Athletic's game against Aston Villa also went after what the club described as "freak snow".

Eight of the 11 scheduled Championship (second division) matches survived but Exeter City against Sheffield Wednesday was the only game from Leagues One and Two to go ahead while only a handful of games survived in Scotland.

Rugby was similarly hard hit with widespread cancellations in the English leagues, the British and Irish Cup and the Heineken Cup.

Even though conditions in France were not so bad, Toulouse's Heineken Cup game against Newcastle on Saturday was postponed for 24 hours because of the travel difficulties faced by the English club.

In racing even the all-weather surface at Kempton Park struggled to cope with the volume of snow and Sunday's meeting at the Surrey course is subject to a morning inspection.

Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.