Redknapp hopes Tottenham clash gets green light

SPURS manager Harry Redknapp expects his side’s Premier League opening day fixture against Everton at White Hart Lane to go ahead, despite the rioting which has caused havoc throughout the capital this week.

Tottenham has been one of the worst affected areas, with arson and looting devastating N17, but Redknapp last night spoke out, underlining his desire to be able to face Everton at the weekend.

He said: “Hopefully it will be OK. It is different if all the games are off but there is nothing worse than being left behind at the start of the season.

“A lot depends on what happens [overnight]. Then we have to make a decision. If it all quietens down, hopefully things can get back to normal.”

His Everton counterpart David Moyes, whose own city of Liverpool was targeted by rioters on Tuesday, is similarly keen for the fixture to go ahead.

He said: “As a result of recent events, football has already suffered and we need to ensure that this stops immediately so thousands of people up and down the country can enjoy one of the most anticipated weekends of the year, the start of the Premier League season.

“There can be no justification for the shocking display of behaviour that has been witnessed throughout the city of Liverpool and the rest of the country over the past few days.”

A decision is expected to be made today on whether the full top-flight programme can go ahead as planned, following days of riots that started in London and spread across the country.

QPR owner and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has warned postponing games would send a “terrible message” to the rest of the world and called the axing of England’s midweek friendly against Holland “a disaster”.

As well as the England game, midweek Carling Cup fixtures at West Ham, Charlton and Crystal Palace were all called off after police told clubs their officers would be more urgently required elsewhere. A friendly in Watford between Nigeria and Ghana was also canned.

Clubs continue to discuss with police and local authorities whether their weekend matches can go ahead as planned.

The reduction in violence on Tuesday night has made postponements less likely, while it is understood the Premier League is keen that decisions are not left to the last minute, which would inconvenience travelling fans.