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Top officials believe the ongoing riots and instability in London could threaten the start of this year’s English Premier League.

Stars such as Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have appealed to people of UK to stop the riots and violence in the country.

The riots could delay the EPL opener between Tottenham and Everton as White Hart Lane is less than a mile away from the local police station, where around 300 people gathered on Saturday to protest over the shooting of Mark Duggan, 29. The club has since cancelled the stadiums tours scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

“The scenes on Sky news right now are shocking..what is this all in aid of?? Innocent peoples homes + livelihoods have gone up in smoke-why?” United’s Ferdinand wrote in his Twitter account.

“And I am not saying bring violence, I am saying the presence of the army may make these kids/people think twice about continuing this??” Ferdinand added.


REUTERS/Toby Melville: Police officers in riot gear drag a man along a street in Hackney in London

The riots have continued for the third consecutive day and have spread beyond London to Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. Carling Cup matches have already been postponed due to the instability in the country and the upcoming Wembley game where England takes on Holland is still uncertain.

“These riots are nuts why would people do this to there own country. Own city. This is embarrassing for our country. Stop please,” Rooney’s Twitter account say.

“so because they don't work it's ok to burn down buildings and break into homes do me a favour. And stop talking rubbish,” Rooney replied to a follower who blamed the riots on people being young and jobless.

The worst-hit parts of the country include Tottenham, Brixton and Hackney which are multi-ethnic areas which have high rates of unemployment, according to a Mirror report.

The Premier League is expected to kick off on August 13 when Tottenham will play the visiting Everton, Arsenal will visit Newcastle United, Fulham play Aston Villa and Liverpool will host Sunderland.