• World Cup qualifiers

FA may compensate England fans for Poland trip

ESPN staff
October 17, 2012
England manager Roy Hodgson found the pitch in Warsaw unplayable © PA Photos
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The FA is investigating the possibility of compensation for England fans following the postponement of the World Cup qualifier in Poland.

The game, at the £400m national stadium in Warsaw, was abandoned after a torrential downpour left the pitch in an unplayable state, and reorganised for a Wednesday afternoon kick off throwing the transport plans of the 2,500 travelling fans into chaos.

Many supporters with tickets are expected to return to England, leading The FA's Adrian Bevington to comment that compensation is "something we are looking into, but I can't give any final decision on that.

"There's nothing but respect for those fans who travelled. We are extremely disappointed for them. Whether a lot of them will be able to stay over and watch the game I am not sure at this stage.

"I am sure many will be travelling back tonight on the scheduled planes so it has a massive impact on them. But we had to look at it from a safety point of view and there is no way that game could have gone ahead. We have to protect the players, that is the primary concern."

England Supporters' Club member Mark Perryman, present at the game, has attacked the poor treatment of the travelling fans. "There was one announcement," he said. "The lack of information for the fans was absolutely appalling."

Former England manager Graham Taylor also joined the voices of discontent, singling out the way the postponement was handled by match officials as the root of the problem.

"I thought this was a prime example of how supporters are treated with such disrespect," he said. "What I mean by that is that it was pretty obvious from the moment the ref came on the pitch for the very first time that this pitch was not playable.

"You could see that, yet it was two and a quarter hours later before supporters were actually told it wasn't on. Now they have reasons for not having the stadium roof shut, but don't you get weather forecasts in this country?

"Then when all the supporters had left their seats, when they decided the game was eventually off, an announcement came asking all England fans to remain in their seats for the next 15 minutes. Hold on a minute, there was no-one else in the stadium. It was very poor how this game was eventually postponed."

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