Warsaw washout was a total disgrace, says Sportmail's man in the stands
00:14 GMT, 17 October 2012
It was raining from the minute I touched down in Warsaw at 11am on Tuesday. The rain got steadily worse throughout the day and by 4pm it was torrential.
This is a new stadium and it has a roof. That it was not shut earlier in the day is an absolute disgrace.
Just getting to Poland cost me 250 and the fact that 2,500 England fans paid good money (my ticket cost 30) to get here and took time off work – and for there to be no attempt to get the game played – is shameful.
Wasted trip: Many fans had to head home without seeing a ball kicked
TORRENT ON TWITTER
ALEC STEWART @StewieCricket ‘Roy Hodgson to make two team changes if the game starts tonight. Tom Daley and Rebecca Adlington to play up front in place of Defoe and Rooney.’
RIO FERDINAND @rioferdy5 ‘Well I’ve managed to watch Eastenders while this shambles is being decided!
MICHAEL VAUGHAN @MichaelVaughan ‘Seriously — What kind of sport gets called off just because of some Rain’ GARY LINEKER @GaryLineker ‘No England manager will ever carry a brolly again!’
KELLY SMITH @kjs8eng ‘It’s completely crazy in this day and age for a top level international to be called off when you have a roof to cover the pitch. #mindblowing.’
WAYNE ROONEY @waynerooney ‘Thanks to the England fans who came tonight. Sorry we couldn’t come out of the tunnel to see you, but we all really appreciate your support.’
ASHLEY COLE @TheRealAC3 ‘Can’t believe game was off, #eng 2morrows a different day thou, now time to watch #thevallys good times.’
DANNY CARE @dannycare ‘If this game doesn’t go ahead its a disgrace. England should be awarded the points. Just close the roof!!’
The communication in and around the ground was also very poor. The majority of England fans who were inside the stadium were getting news via Twitter and text messages from England. That is not good enough.
We arrived at the ground in good time for kick-off. A pitch inspection was called soon afterwards and you would expect a team of people on the pitch doing all they could to get the pitch in a better condition — but not one person came out.
The fact that Poland have the chance to rearrange a game when, in my opinion, they did not do enough to get the original game on is disgraceful.
England should have kicked off the game and been awarded the points, just as Scotland believed they had been against Estonia in 1996.
It’s all left me a very wet and angry England fan in Warsaw.
Soak it up: The officials have decided the game will be played at 4pm
What the fans said…
The 2,000 travelling fans were
stunned by the postponement, furious with Polish authorities who ignored
weather warnings and disappointed that Roy Hodgson and his players did
not come out to see them in Warsaw.
Some were weighing up the extra cost
of rearranging flights home while others were resigned to missing the
game and not even seeing it on television because they will be in the
James Holland and Matthew Newton, both in the RAF and based at Lossiemouth in North Scotland, are just back from Afghanistan.
Holland said: ‘The FA advised fans to
pack for rain on our fans’ website so no-one can say that they weren’t
expecting rain. It’s a disgrace.
‘We had to take two different flights. We’re working-class lads, this is a treat for us.’
Newton said: ‘What disappointed me most was the players could not be bothered to come out and see the fans.’
Brian Wright travelled from Coventry
with his father, also Brian, and David Hartopp, flying from Birmingham
to Katowice and then more than six hours on a minibus by road to Warsaw.
‘The fact that we were getting our
information from friends at home was a disgrace,’ said Brian Jnr. ‘There
was only one announcement in English all night. Why didn’t they shut
the roof We knew it would rain.’
Better late than never: two hours after the ‘game’, the roof is on. This picture was tweeted by the BBC’s Richard Conway…