Snow blast wipes out 5 Premier League games

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2010, 23:46 PM IST

London: A blast of heavy snow wiped out most of the weekend Premier League program after the conditions made it too hazardous for fans to attend many matches across England.

Arsenal’s home match against Stoke and Liverpool’s meeting with Fulham at Anfield were among the four matches that fell victim to the big freeze on Saturday, while leader Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday is also off.

With Birmingham-Newcastle and Wigan-Aston Villa also postponed, only Sunderland’s meeting with Bolton and Blackburn’s match against West Ham were due to go ahead on Saturday.

In north London, Arsenal said three inches (seven centimeters) of snow fell over the Emirates Stadium before the referee called off the match and the north London club said there appeared to be “no apparent let up.”

There was also a huge deluge in Liverpool, with the club saying that “the conditions around the stadium and further afield for people traveling to the match” made it too dangerous to allow the Anfield match to go ahead.

Liverpool and Wigan said their pitches would have been playable.

Wigan said 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow fell overnight in the town, meaning “public transport isn’t running, there are motorway closures and the general condition of the surrounding routes is treacherous.”

Birmingham cited “health and safety grounds” for the decision to call off its home match against Newcastle, saying that roads around the stadium were unsafe.

Chelsea postponed its home match around 27 hours before Sunday’s kickoff after consultation with the police and the local authority.

But West Bromwich Albion’s derby against Wolverhampton and Tottenham’s match at Blackpool in the northwest on Sunday are still set to be played.

On Monday night, Manchester City hosts Everton.

Bureau Report