Scudamore: HK pitch was safe

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has told Sky Sports that player safety was not compromised in Wednesday's pre-season friendlies in Hong Kong.

Last Updated: 25/07/13 at 16:44 Post Comment

Emmanuel Adebayor and Sebastian Larsson in action on Wednesday

Emmanuel Adebayor and Sebastian Larsson in action on Wednesday

Torrential rainfall meant Tottenham's match with Sunderland was played out on a very wet surface after a half-hour delay and defender Jan Vertonghen may now miss the start of the Premier League season after injuring his ankle.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was angry about the state of the pitch but Scudamore says it was right that the Barclays Asia Trophy match, which was followed by a Man City v South China contest, went ahead.

"The heavens opened, it was just what we didn't want," said Scudamore. "But we'd thought it all through and had various contingency plans in place.

"With modern technology, we had a pretty accurate picture of what the weather was going to do in terms of the storms coming through, so we put the games back half an hour.

Right call

"The referees made the call, I think it was the right call. Our senior referees, Neil Swarbrick and Anthony Taylor, made the call that it was safe to play, but I think the half-hour gave us a chance because it meant we got both games in.

"Yes, I think it was safe to play. You play games in the Premier League and in the Championship in those conditions. There will be games played next season in those conditions, albeit temporarily.

"But if, at any point we thought it wasn't safe, we wouldn't have played it.

"It was a very simple, straightforward dialogue (with the managers) and they were keen to play. They left the decisions to the match officials as to whether it was safe and it was safe. The pitch drained very easily and they were good games."

More storms are forecast for the weekend and Scudamore says Saturday's games will be abandoned if players are considered at serious risk of injury.

"It doesn't put the fans off and the only issue is player safety," he said. "If, on Saturday, it's deemed that the pitch is unplayable, then we won't play."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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