London: Wigan Athletic’s home match against Aston Villa and West Ham United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers both fell victim to the freezing weather conditions in Britain on Saturday.
Wigan’s match, at the DW Stadium, was due to kick off at 3 p.m. British time but was called off after the undersoil heating system at the stadium failed on Friday night leaving the pitch in an unplayable frozen condition.
West Ham’s match against Wolves, due to be played at Sunday lunchtime, was called off later on Saturday morning because of icy conditions in the area surrounding Upton Park, taking the tally of Premier League games off to seven.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told the club’s website (www.wiganlatics.co.uk): “We are devastated because the club has worked hard in these freak weather conditions to make sure the area surrounding the stadium was safe.
“The pitch has never been the problem until now.”
Five matches were called off on Friday and the only ones still scheduled to go ahead this weekend are Arsenal v Everton (3 p.m. British time), Birmingham City v Manchester United (5:30 p.m. British time) and Monday’s match between Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers (8 p.m. British time).
A host of matches were called off in the Championship, League One and League Two with most matches in Scotland also called off due to the freezing conditions.
Race meetings and rugby matches around the country were also called off as Britain experienced its heaviest widespread snowfalls for nearly 30 years.
One match that did beat the conditions was Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash in the Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest.
Forest won 3-1 to extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches and leapfrog West Brom to go second behind leaders Newcastle United.