• World Cup qualifiers

Rooney apologises to England fans

ESPN staff
October 17, 2012
Washout: Torrential rain made the pitch unplayable © PA Photos

Adrian Bevington has insisted there was no snub intended towards England fans, while Wayne Rooney has apologised for the players' failure to acknowledge the supporters following the postponement of the game with Poland.

The World Cup qualifier in Warsaw descended into farce, as torrential rain rendered the pitch unplayable. The inevitable postponement was delayed until an hour after the intended kick-off, with the game to be played on Wednesday afternoon.

The England camp felt, correctly as it turned out, that the game would not go ahead and the players were changed long before the official announcement. This meant the players did not acknowledge the fans, but Club England managing director Bevington stressed that was not an intentional snub.

He said: "We have made it clear, frequently, just how important the supporters are to us. These are pretty unique circumstances.

"We had said to the players to get changed significantly earlier than when the game would be called off because we didn't think there was any chance of the match being played, but we didn't want it to look as if we'd made their decision for them.

"There's nothing but respect for those fans who have travelled all that way. There was no disrespect intended."

Bevington added: "The most important thing here is that, while there are issues of disappointment for all the fans who have travelled, the safety of the players on the pitch is paramount.

"That has to be the priority. We were not able to confirm anything (about the game being postponed) until we were told ourselves. We were asked not to confirm anything until we were told by the referee at 10.05pm.

"It's extremely regrettable for all supporters who have missed out. Hopefully the game goes ahead at 5pm (local time) with supporters in the stadium."

Rooney echoed the sentiments of Bevington towards the supporters who made the trip to Poland to back the side.

He tweeted: "Thanks to the England fans who came tonight. Sorry we couldn't come out of the tunnel to see you but we all really appreciate your support."

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