WARSAW: Poland officials’ failure to react to the weather forecast means that the World Cup qualifying against England goes ahead at 1500CET/4pmBST today.

The tie had to be postponed last night after the roof was left open and heavy rain left the pitch waterlogged and unplayable. The game was not called off by Italian referee Gianluca Rocci until 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off.

Polish officials wanted the match postponed to November because a number of their players are due to play league matches on Friday. However the Football Association insisted on the enactment of FIFA regulations which insist on a next-day staging.

In any case, England are already committed to a friendly in Gothenburg next month amid the centenary celebrations of the Swedish federation.

Adrian Bevington, Club England’s managing director, said: “We wanted to play the game [immediately]. Our fixture programme is full for the next 12 months. We’re already here and our flight can be put back 24 hours.”

The FA had asked on arrival on Monday whether the roof would be closed but were told it would remain open. The rain began at lunchtime but still the Poles did not react.

Polish federation spokesperson Agniesza Olejkowska said: “The FIFA delegate made the decision tonight to close the roof as quickly as possible but we could not do it because the rain already on it was too heavy.”

FIFA officials confirmed that the managers could make changes to their announcement line-ups if they wished. England manager Roy Hodgson had named a starting line-up showing six changes from the team who beat San Marino 5-0 on Friday.


# # #