• World Cup qualifying

Farcical scenes as Poland v England is called off

ESPN staff
October 16, 2012
Roy Hodgson tested the turf in Warsaw © PA Photos

England were washed out of their World Cup qualifier with Poland in Warsaw as a torrential downpour made the pitch unplayable, despite the presence of a roof on the stadium that was not closed.

The England players refused to warm up on the pitch ahead of the game as the rain fell and manager Roy Hodgson cut a disconsolate figure when he inspected the surface, trying to kick a ball around the sodden turf.

With the roof remaining open because there was too much rain to close it, a time of 8pm was agreed to make a decision over the future of the game, before it was eventually called off.

The game will now be played on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm as, under FIFA rules, it has to be attempted to replay the game within 24 hours after a postponement.

England coach Roy Hodgson claimed the pitch would take plenty of work to be ready.

He said on ITV1: "I'm rather hoping there'll get it (the roof) closed now as quickly as possible and start to do some work on the pitch because at moment the pitch is in very poor condition. Water is lying on the surface. It's going to need a lot of attention if it's going to be playable tomorrow afternoon.''

The England boss added he was happy with the rescheduled time. "I think it was the only decision that could be made,'' he said. "There're no other possibilities. You can't find dates at international level. The dates that are available are all taken up so you can't just suddenly decide we'll play it another time.

"What you have to do is to try to organise to get the game played as quickly as possible. We'll have to go back to the hotel. We're disappointed. We prepared well for this start tonight as no doubt the Poles have too, but now we've got to do it all over again and hopefully we'll be as prepared tomorrow as we were tonight.''

Montenegro are now level with England in Group H after they emerged 1-0 winners over Ukraine at the Olympic Stadium. Montenegro's winner came through Dejan Damjanovic on the stroke of half-time.

Elsewhere, San Marino were predictably beaten by Moldova, who triumphed 2-0 away from home. Goals from Alexandru Epureanu and Serghei Dadu did the job for Moldova, who now have four points.

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