England to try again after farce

Blackpool Citizen: Roy Hodgson feels Tuesday's farcical scenes are a 'disaster' for the Polish FA Roy Hodgson feels Tuesday's farcical scenes are a 'disaster' for the Polish FA

England coach Roy Hodgson admits his players may have to overcome a sleepless night as well as Poland in Wednesday's rescheduled World Cup qualifier.

The Group H match at the National Stadium was called off on Tuesday night amid farcical scenes as two pitch inspections were split by a couple of fans splashing through the huge puddles on the playing surface before sliding into the penalty areas.

Thankfully, conditions had eased sufficiently by midnight for the roof to be closed, which means the match should get the go-ahead, but Hodgson said: "The players know it is difficult for them to sleep at night after a game of football. But it's even harder when you've been resting all day and you've not had a game."

He added: "We are very unhappy about it but what can we do. No-one decides whether it's going to rain, We just have to live with situation."

With a number of their squad due to play league matches on Friday, the Polish Federation were reluctant to agree to Wednesday's game and suggested a November encounter instead.

However, with FIFA regulations stipulating the game should be rearranged for Wednesday and England already having a lucrative friendly in Gothenburg next month as part of the centenary celebrations of the Swedish Football Association, the FA stood firm.

"We wanted to play the game tomorrow," Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said on Tuesday evening. "Our fixture programme is full for the next 12 months. We're already here and our flight can be put back 24 hours."

The same is unlikely to be true for many England fans and Bevington admitted compensation was something the FA were "looking into".

The manner in which events unfolded was bizarre given that the National Stadium, built for Euro 2012, boasts a sliding roof. Knowing rain was forecast, the FA asked on arrival on Monday whether it was going to be closed but were told it was going to remain open.

By the time it became obvious the heavy rain that began falling at lunchtime was not going to stop, it was too late. "It's a disaster for the Polish Federation," added Hodgson, who had already named a starting line-up showing six changes from the team that beat San Marino on Friday. "I had no idea quite how bad the conditions were going to be."

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