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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Premier League heads list of sporting postponements

Northampton Town FC
The freezing weather and snow is affecting the sporting schedules

Snow and sub-zero temperatures have caused major disruption to the sporting calendar in Britain and Ireland.

Saturday's Premier League games at Wigan, Hull, Fulham, Burnley and Sunderland and both games scheduled for Sunday were hit by the big freeze.

Seven Championship games were off, only two matches survived in League One, none in League Two while 10 Scottish Cup ties were postponed.

Horse racing meetings and rugby union matches were also called off.

Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures caused problems for clubs and race courses around the UK.

The weather just caught us out in the end because we were confident that it could go ahead up until Thursday evening

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson

In addition to safety issues for players and jockeys as a result of frozen ground, the cold spell caused travel chaos with road closures and widespread disruption to public transport.

England's Premier League programme has had seven postponements so far, with West Ham's match at home to Wolves on Sunday becoming the latest game to fall foul of the weather because of the conditions in the area surrounding Upton Park.

The game between Wigan and Aston Villa - scheduled for a 1500 GMT kick-off - failed an 0830 GMT inspection on Saturday after problems with the Latics' undersoil heating system.

Liverpool's game with Tottenham on Sunday has also been postponed.

A club spokesman said: "Although the Anfield pitch is perfectly playable for the game, the problem we face is the icy condition of the approach roads and paths in the immediate vicinity of the stadium."

Fulham were also concerned that the conditions around Craven Cottage were too dangerous for fans to get to the game with Portsmouth.

A club statement read: "The safety of supporters is of paramount importance and following an inspection of the areas surrounding Craven Cottage on Friday morning it was deemed unsafe for fans to travel."

Burnley's fixture with Stoke was the second top-flight game to go, with the Clarets stating the match had been postponed because of "safety reasons".

The question you can ask is, for the fairness of the Premier League, if there are two or three games postponed, should the whole day be re-scheduled?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Sunderland's game with Bolton at the Stadium of Light was called off following a recommendation from the city's Safety Advisory Group, who met for a second time on Friday morning.

Safety Advisory Group chairman Ken Scott told the club's website: "Clearly the combination of a number of factors has led us to make this decision.

"The early timing has been deliberate in order to avoid many thousands of people embarking on unnecessary and potentially hazardous journeys."

Saturday's planned Hull versus Birmingham game was postponed on Friday evening.

The games at Arsenal and Birmingham were the only ones to go ahead in the top flight.

Before Arsenal's draw against Everton boss Arsene Wenger said he understood the reasons for the postponements, but added: "If one of 60,000 people has an accident, you feel very guilty and nobody accepts anymore that the slightest insecurity could exist in our society and that is why the games are postponed when there is no real need for it."

Wenger also argued that if more fixtures were called off, there was a case for the other matches on that day to go as well.

"The question you can ask is, for the fairness of the Premier League, if there are two or three games postponed, should the whole day be re-scheduled?," he said.

"Because if you play one team now who fights not to go down, and you play them again in May when they are already safe or already down, it is not the same game. That is where you can argue it is not fair sometimes for the competition."

With icy pavements and roads becoming a serious issue, Sheffield Wednesday decided to take the decision to call off their Championship game with Peterborough.

Preston also called off their game against Doncaster as did Watford for the visit of Sheffield United and Reading for the game with Championship leaders Newcastle, while Swansea's trip to Middlesbrough and QPR's home game against Plymouth were also postponed.

Crystal Palace called off their game with Bristol City because of a frozen pitch at Selhurst Park.

Ten games were off in League One, with only the matches at Leeds and Norwich making it, while none of the planned 10 League Two ties survived.

Sub-zero temperatures have followed days of heavy snow across the country, with UK-wide severe weather warnings of ice in place, with temperatures staying near freezing.

There will be no National Hunt racing until Wednesday at the earliest after Tuesday's card at Leicester became the latest meeting to be called off, following the earlier abandonment of Newcastle while Wednesday's card at Doncaster joined the list of abandonments.

Saturday's meetings at Wincanton, Ffos Las and Sedgefield were also called off but the Flat meetings on the all-weather tracks at Lingfield and Kempton Park went ahead.

Saturday's Guinness Premiership rugby clash between Sale and top-of-the-table Saracens was postponed because of fears for fans' safety on their way to the stadium.

Tigers battle to prepare ground for Wasps

Saturday's games between Worcester and London Irish, Bath and Northampton and Leeds' trip to Harlequins, together with Sunday's match between Newcastle and Gloucester fell foul of the weather.

Worcester's match was called off on Friday afternoon with a Premier Rugby statement explaining: "Despite the pitch having been covered since the conclusion of Warriors' Boxing Day match against Northampton, the wind has picked up and got underneath the covers, causing areas of the pitch to freeze."

Leicester switched Saturday's kick-off time from 1730 to 1515 GMT for the visit of Wasps at the request of Premier Rugby.

Friday night's Magners League match between Ulster and the Ospreys was called off because of a frozen pitch, as was Connacht's game against Newport Gwent Dragons and the match between Leinster and Glasgow.

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson said: "The weather just caught us out in the end because we were confident that it could go ahead up until Thursday evening.

"Following Garda and health and safety advice, we had to consider supporters travelling to the game from the far reaches of Leinster and beyond as well as the safety of the players as the roads and pathways around the ground are also treacherous."

Sunday's Magners League game between Munster and Scarlets at Musgrave Park has also been called off.

The rugby league pre-season friendly between Huddersfield and Halifax on Sunday, which was to be England forward Eorl Crabtree's testimonial match has also been called off.

There was some good news, however, as organisers of the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country, featuring Ethiopia's distance running superstar Kenenisa Bekele, with the event going ahead on Saturday.

Elsewhere the GB men's handball squad were nearly scuppered in their attempt to travel to France for the Marrane Cup in Paris.

The team were due to leave their London training camp on Wednesday but their coach failed to reach them in the snow, so they checked into a hotel in the capital and made plans to travel by Eurostar on Thursday morning instead.

Several trains from St Pancras were delayed but the team were finally on their way by 1230 GMT leaving them enough time to make it on to court in Paris at 2000 GMT to face Qatar.

Full list of sporting events off this weekend:

SATURDAY

Football:

Premier League
Burnley v Stoke
Fulham v Portsmouth
Hull v Chelsea
Sunderland v Bolton
Wigan v Aston Villa

Championship
Crystal Palace v Bristol City
Middlesbrough v Swansea
Preston v Doncaster
QPR v Plymouth
Reading v Newcastle
Sheffield Wednesday v Peterborough
Watford v Sheff Utd

League One
Brighton v Brentford
Bristol Rovers v Stockport
Carlisle v Millwall
Charlton v Hartlepool
Gillingham v Tranmere
MK Dons v Swindon
Oldham v Leyton Orient
Southampton v Huddersfield
Southend v Walsall
Yeovil v Colchester

League Two
Aldershot v Rochdale
Bury v Darlington
Cheltenham v Hereford
Crewe v Grimsby
Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley
Morecambe v Burton Albion
Northampton v Chesterfield
Notts County v Macclesfield
Port Vale v Bradford
Rotherham v Bournemouth
Shrewsbury v Barnet
Torquay v Dagenham & Redbridge

Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Albion v Stirling
Ayr v Brechin
Edinburgh City v Montrose
Forfar v St Johnstone
Inverness CT v Motherwell
Kilmarnock v Falkirk
Livingston v Dundee
Morton v Celtic
Raith v Airdrie Utd
Ross County v Inveruie Locos

Scottish Football League Championship Second Division
Cowdenbeath v Arbroath

Scottish Football League Championship Third Division
Berwick v Stranraer
East Stirling v Queens Park

Rugby Union:
Premiership
Bath v Northampton
Harlequins v Leeds
Worcester v London Irish

Horse racing
Ffos Las
Punchestown
Sedgefield
Wincanton

SUNDAY

Football:
Premier League
Liverpool v Tottenham
West Ham v Wolves

Rugby Union:
Premiership
Newcastle v Gloucester

Magners League
Munster v Scarlets

Horse racing:
Hereford
Leopardstown

MONDAY

Horse racing:
Ayr
Taunton

TUESDAY

Horse racing:
Newcastle
Leicester

WEDNESDAY

Horse racing:
Doncaster



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see also
Saturday football as it happened
09 Jan 10 |  Football
Scottish Cup as it happened
09 Jan 10 |  Scottish Cups
Guiseley and Dover win in Trophy
13 Jan 10 |  Non League
Leinster call-off vexes Glasgow
08 Jan 10 |  Leinster
Arsenal to pay Bolton fans' costs
08 Jan 10 |  Arsenal
Carling Cup semi-final dates set
07 Jan 10 |  League Cup
Welsh sport suffers in big freeze
10 Jan 10 |  Wales
Racing goes ahead despite freeze
16 Jan 10 |  Horse Racing
Six Scottish Cup ties beat freeze
09 Jan 10 |  Scottish Cups
Ffos Las race meeting abandoned
07 Jan 10 |  Horse Racing


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