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London games off

London club's West Ham United, Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace have postponed their Carling Cup matches following a request from the police amid riots in the capital.

The Hammers were set to host Aldershot at Upton Park, Reading were scheduled to travel to Charlton and Crystal Palace would have taken on Crawley Town. However, all three games have been called off, with police resources in London being affected by three days of rioting.

England are due to play a friendly international against Netherlands on Wednesday night at Wembley, a match which may also be impacted by the trouble in the capital.

West Ham's game was the first to go and the Hammers issued a statement that read: "The club were contacted this evening and told that all major public events in London were to be rearranged because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere.

"Whilst neither the club or police anticipate any issues around the game itself, the club has to comply with the police request. No date has yet been set for the rearranged match but the club will be in contact with the Football League and Aldershot.''

Charlton's Valley stadium is close to Lewisham where rioting occurred on Monday night, and shortly after West Ham's announcement came confirmation from the south London club that they too had been asked by police to play at a later date.

A statement on Charlton's website said: "Given the events in London, the police have taken the sensible decision and postponed the match at The Valley, with Greenwich Borough Police Commander Richard Wood advising the Addicks at 10.55pm on Monday that the match should be called off on safety grounds."

Addicks chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said: 'We've been monitoring the situation as it's been developing all evening and have been in constant contact with police. Clearly the most important factor is the people's safety. The police have told us they believe the match should be postponed on safety grounds and obviously we have taken that advice.''

Palace called their game off early on Tuesday morning, with their stadium close to the chaos in Croydon.

It has also been announced that Bristol City's game against Swindon has been cancelled.

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