After Spurs’ weekend fixture gets postponed, England
captain Terry says footballers must reach out to youngsters
ENGLAND and Chelsea captain John Terry has urged his fellow footballers to unite in a bid to restore calm to the nation’s streets, after Tottenham’s clash with Everton became the latest victim of a week of rioting.
England’s friendly against Holland at Wembley, along with the Carling Cup ties due to be staged at West Ham, Crystal Palace and Charlton were called off earlier this week, and ongoing problems concerning the infrastructure and transport links around White Hart Lane forced the abandonment of Saturday’s Premier League opener.
Tottenham’s proximity to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium prompted Uefa to raise concerns about the prospect of Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier against Udinese going ahead, but the Gunners are confident the fixture will be unaffected.
Terry, meanwhile, believes footballers are uniquely placed to try and attempt to mend relationships between the young perpetrators of violence and the communities they have destroyed this week.
“Maybe the MPs and the people in those kinds of roles can’t relate to the kids as we do. Now all we can do is collectively come together and send the message out that all we ask for is for calm on the streets.
“They know we’ve been a very similar position to where they are. We didn’t do it when we were younger and all we’re asking for is for people to remain in their houses and stay off the streets.
“One hundred per cent we can relate to them . All my family still live on those estates where I grew up.
“I go back there many time a year and see the young kids in the youth clubs and talk to the workers in there and go back to my old school so we relate to them.”
Football Association chairman David Bernstein, who yesterday helped to launch the “Get on with the Game” initiative, designed to eradicate bad behaviour on the pitch, agreed that footballers have a responsibility as role models.
He said: “On the pitch behaviour is so important, both directly in the way it affects youngsters playing football, but also in terms of wider behaviour.”
Spurs are not yet in a position to begin planning a new date for the game against Everton and must wait until the outcome of their Europa League tie against Hearts, and subsequent group draw, to do so.
Harry Redknapp’s side will now start their domestic campaign next Monday at Old Trafford against Manchester United.