London: The Football Association (FA) on Tuesday was forced to call off Wednesday's international friendly between England and the Netherlands at Wembley after widespread disorder spread across the capital.

'It is with regret that tomorrow's international fixture with Holland at Wembley has been called off,' said an FA statement on its website. More than 70,000 tickets had been sold for the match but FA is expected refund fans.

The FA took the decision on the basis of police advice after the Metropolitan Police informed them that they don't have enough force to spare. There was also a possibility of disorder spreading to Wembley after riot incidents were reported in nearby areas of Harlesden and Brent Cross, both close to the national stadium.

'Every football match is subject to some form of assessment around police resources, and this is no different,' said a police spokesman.

England internationals Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney made public appeals for calm.

Rooney tweeted: 'These riots are nuts. Why would people do this to their own country? Stop, please.'

Ferdinand, who along with the rest of the England players watched events unfold from the team base in Watford, tweeted: 'I can't sleep. I've got the news stations on watching the coverage of the riots. This is madness.'

West Ham, Crystal Palace and Charlton have all also cancelled home matches in the Carling Cup.

(Agencies)