followed heavy rain in descending on Warsaw on Tuesday as Poland's
World Cup Group H qualifier against England was postponed due to a
waterlogged pitch after officials failed to close the national stadium's
The game was
rearranged for 15:00GMT on Wednesday, but the Polish FA was facing an
immediate backlash after the decision to leave the retractable roof open
despite the city suffering from a sustained storm.
"We were made into a laughing stock," said former Poland international Tomasz Iwan.
of fans were angered after being kept at the stadium while authorities
waited in vain to see if the Group H fixture could go ahead later on
after 19:45, with the pitch in places resembling a paddling pool and
referee Gianluca Rocchi having conducted a second and final pitch
inspection, the game was called off and the players returned to their
A Polish FA
spokeswoman said neither of the side' representatives nor the FIFA
delegate wanted to make the decision to close the roof.
of the sides wanted such a solution," said Agnieszka Olejkowska. "We
knew there would be heavy rain but we could not 100 percent predict the
A spokesperson for
the National Sports Centre, which operates the 58,000-seater stadium
built to host the European Championship in June, said: "There is a
functioning drainage system but with this amount of rain falling
continuously, no system could get rid of this amount of water."
roof was eventually closed at 22:20 GMT on Tuesday, with the groundstaff
tasked with making sure the pitch is playable by Wednesday.
England manager Roy Hodgson said he had no idea why the roof was not closed earlier on Tuesday.
"That's something I can't answer," he said.
will have to speak to the Polish authorities. I am rather hoping they
will get it closed now and start work on the pitch as the water is lying
on the surface and it will need a lot of attention if we are going to
He added: "It was
pretty obvious to me early on that this game was not going to be played.
But I understand the referee wanted to examine every possibility.
a disaster for the Polish FA, who had a big crowd. We've got a problem
now of having to re-prepare. Our players have to do things all over
again. No one's a winner in this situation."
His Polish counterpart, Waldemar Fornalik, wanted to move the match to mid-November but was resigned to playing on Wednesday.
can play on any pitch, but the question is how such play would look,"
he told reporters. "I am surprised that after such a rainfall the pitch
was in such a state."
FA official Adrian Bevington said: "There's two things to this: clearly
there's a huge problem there for the supporters who have travelled all
this way, and the Polish fans who have travelled around their country... but likewise, you have also got to take into account the safety of
the players, and that pitch tonight was no way playable from a safety
point of view."
sides meet on Wednesday, England will be aiming to maintain their long
unbeaten streak against Poland and their place at the top of qualifying
Hodgson said he
would pick the same team for Wednesday, and hoped his players would be
as well prepared as they had been on Tuesday.
manager, though, was not likely to be fazed by the inconvenience. Asked
if he had experienced a late postponement before, the 65-year-old said:
"Funnily enough, yes. In 1987, when my Malmo team were all set to play
Ajax, a snow storm came in and covered the pitch in snow and caused the
game to be postponed for a couple of days."
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010