Top 6 Strange Match Cancellations

Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers fans weren’t happy when their League of Ireland clash last night was postponed at the last minute as the referee wasn’t satisfied with the state of the penalty spot!

We look at some other strange reasons for matches being cancelled.

Lack of players

Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Ipswich Town v Blackpool - Portman Road

Most postponed football matches are the result of some unforeseen weather circumstances, which Blackpool certainly couldn’t blame for cancelling their recent pre-season tour of Spain.

The Tangerines were set to play two friendlies in their all-weather camp but realised at the last minute that it probably wasn’t worth travelling as they only had eight players.

The Championship side decided to stay at home and concentrate on player recruitment, but they already languish second from bottom in the table, despite now having enough players to field a team.

Death Of High Profile Figures

Poland Giant John Paul

The death of Princess Diana in 1997 provoked unprecedented scenes of mourning throughout the UK, and had reverberations across the sporting world. Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United was immediately postponed along with a number of lower league matches.

Football clubs sometime don’t’ even wait until the passing of a dignitary to cancel fixtures. AC Milan and Juventus postponed a match in 2005 as a mark of respect for the worsening condition of Pope John Paul II. When the pontiff passed away the following day the full Serie A fixture list was cancelled.

Wild Animals

Pig football

While many people are switching off matches due to wild bores such as Michael Owen and Phil Neville, actual wild boars caused the cancellation of a non-league match in 2008.

The Gloucestershire Football Association had just spent a fortune laying a new pitch before the hogs caused carnage. Using a tactic employed by kids to sneak into matches, the boars squeezed through a gap in the fence before digging up huge mounds on the pitch with their snouts.

The damage was so bad that Soudley’s home matches were cancelled for several months.

London Riots

Insurance riots cover warning

While, thankfully, the days of abandoned matches due to rioting fans seem to be a thing of the past in England, civil unrest off the field can still have consequences for top-level football.

The 2011 riots in Tottenham quickly spread nationwide, and with police resources at breaking point several matches, including Spurs’ Premier League clash with Everton were cancelled.

The unrest also had international repercussions, with England’s friendly against Holland and Ghana’s London fixture against Nigeria also falling foul of the rioting.

Sh*t Happens

Soccer - Ronnie Whelan File Photo

Liverpool had to postpone their first three home games of their 1987/88 season when a Victorian sewer under Anfield’s Kop collapsed.

The Reds had to wait until mid-September before playing a home match, but any lingering smells had no effect as they flushed opponents aside with (ef)fluent football to win the title at a canter.

A Total Eclipse of the…Sun

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round Replay - Droylsden v Chesterfield - Butchers Arms Ground

August 11th 1999 was the date of the first total eclipse of the sun in Britain since 1927.

Torquay United and local police had only 62 years to prepare for it so they hastily decided to cancel The Gulls’ home match against Portsmouth due to safety reasons.

The local constabulary decided they didn’t have to resources to police both the match and the influx of tourists into the region to witness the eclipse, so postponed the Worthington Cup fixture until six days later.

Let’s hope they’re better prepared for the next total eclipse – on 23 September 2090.