June 9, 2009

World Cup match may be in empty stadium

A World Cup qualifying match between England and Andorra may be played before an empty Wembley Stadium because of a planned rail strike, London officials say.

Britain's Football Association held emergency meetings with London police, local officials and transportation chiefs Tuesday over fears that a 48-hour strike by subway workers could make for a dangerous situation at Wembley, where 70,000 fans were expected to attend Wednesday's soccer match, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Metropolitan Police and the local Brent Council say they are worried about public safety in the event of a strike by Tube workers, fearing that vast numbers of people would be unable to get to and from Wembley. As a consequence, the FA was weighing several options, including the possibility of shutting fans out of the stadium, the newspaper said.

The FA and Wembley are closely monitoring the situation and will convey any subsequent implications for England's World Cup qualifier against Andorra as soon as anything is confirmed by the authorities, the sports authority said on its Web site Tuesday.