UK & World News
England Fans To Get Refund After Poland Farce
The Polish FA says it will refund England fans who are unable to attend the rescheduled World Cup qualifier in Warsaw.
The game was called off after about eight hours of torrential rain left the pitch waterlogged. Officials had decided not to close the £400m Warsaw national stadium's sliding roof.
Around 2,500 England fans travelled to Poland for Tuesday's match - but many have been unable to stay on for today's rescheduled 4pm kick-off because they could not change their travel arrangements.
They will be able to claim back the cost of any unused tickets through the FA - but it is unclear if they will get any help with money spent on transport and accommodation.
One returning fan told Sky News: "The whole thing is just horrendous. This is an international fixture, a World Cup qualifier, and it's been rained off in a ground that has got a roof. I can't get my head round that."
The FA's Adrian Bevington said compensation for fans who had spent money on the trip was something that was being "looked into".
Former England manager Graham Taylor, who was in Poland for the match, said the treatment of supporters had been "disgraceful".
He said: "I thought this was a prime example of how supporters are treated with such disrespect.
"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."
Kick-off had been delayed by 45 minutes to allow for two pitch inspections, but referee Gianluca Rocchi finally decided to postpone the match as the playing surface remained badly waterlogged.
Mark Perryman, from the England Supporters' Club, said: "There was one announcement. The lack of information for the fans was absolutely appalling."
Officials said the retractable roof on the National Stadium - a key venue for Euro 2012 - could not be closed because the wind and rain was too intense.
It was the first time an England match has been called off due to the weather since 1979 and the decision was greeted with jeers by fans.
It is believed the England players had changed out of their kit and were ready to leave as long as 30 minutes before the official decision was announced.
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.
"The FIFA delegate made the decision tonight to close the roof as quickly as possible but we could not do it because the rain already on it was too heavy," Polish FA spokesperson Agnieszka Olejkowska said.
With a number of their squad due to play league matches on Friday, the Polish Federation were reluctant to agree to today'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.
England boss Roy Hodgson said: "It's a disaster for the Polish Federation - I had no idea quite how bad the conditions were going to be."
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what do you think?
Watching the pundits talk nonsense trying to fill time was more fun then most matches i've seen England play lately.
what a joke.
Why have a retractable roof if you don't use it? Raining too hard to close it?! Feel for the fans who made the trip.
So there was a lot of drizzle hindering England from playing. Oh, and it rained as well. Good news is though, Water Polo is now the Polish national sport.
I fail to see how this received a minus rating. No one a fan of Water Polo here then?
Latest news - Poland apologises for the condition of the pitch but they wanted to bring on a sub!
Allan Booth - Staff
"who" built the roof.... enough said
There were obviously not enough people left in Poland to close the roof. They couldn't fly the chap in from London in time :p
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Let me make it clear to those who still live with the medieval technology, do not know what was going on and why the roof could not be closed. As you all should know this is the most equipped and modern stadium in the world. The reason why it was open in the first place was because the English players and so did the Polish players demand the roof to be open when playing the match. The Poles that organised it wanted to make sure that the player's wishes could be fulfilled so when they checked the weather forecast it was shown that there was going to be SOME rain but they didn't think that it would rain constantly and so badly. The roof is designed to close from the middle but can not be closed when it's raining and it can only be closed after 15mins when it stops raining due to the water at the top of the roof and the strong waves that would form up there from the movement and begin to fall on people's heads on the stadium (as the English always say "health and safety") which could kill them in the process of the roof closing, but it was windy as well so that didn't help it either. Forks wouldn't help in that situation anyway, because obviously it was still raining which wouldn't make a difference on the pitch, they also don't use forks because that's just outdated this is why the ground heating system had been designed but that wouldn't work anyway due to the fact that the rain was still falling. Some people obviously need educating and the information written for them.
So, just to understand this correctly, it was due to extremely poor design, poor observations of the weather (even the Brits don't get it that wrong) and the slow reaction by the stadium officials? I have also heard that because all of the new stadiums were built in a hurry for the Euro there have been a number of problems already reported.
I highly doubt water falling from the height of the stadium roof would be enough to kill someone. If a police watercannon is safe enough to use. A concentrated blast of water designed to force people to retreat is much more dangerous than a a dozen or so buckets of water worth falling from however high it is. And yes, we know the teams wanted it open, but it doesn't explain why they had to wait an extra 45 minutes to reach a decision (and I know that's the official rule) when it was clear there was no chance. They even had a cheek to get the ref out to test it one last time!!