Letchworth screening of England-Croatia game cancelled on police advice

Ashley Young with England manager Gareth Southgate during the World Cup warm-up match against Nigeri

Ashley Young with England manager Gareth Southgate during the World Cup warm-up match against Nigeria at Wembley. Picture: Eddie Keogh/FA - Credit: Eddie Keogh for FA

Tonight’s Letchworth town centre screening of the England-Croatia World Cup semi-final has been cancelled amid police safety concerns.

The free outdoor screening in Leys Square was set to show the big game on the big screen tonight, as England take on Croatia for a place in Sunday’s final showpiece against France in Moscow.

However, organisers said they were unable to secure recommended safety measures, resulting in the event having to be cancelled.

Letchworth South East councillor David Levett, who helped organise the Love Letchworth event, told the Comet: “We are really disappointed that we cannot go ahead with it.

“Apologies to everyone who wanted to come along. Safety is our primary concern and if police don’t think it’s safe we have no choice but to follow their advice.”

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Fans had been expected to travel from across North Herts and Stevenage for the screening.

Love Letchworth said in a statement: “We had very limited time to turn this event around which came about as soon as England qualified to the semi-finals.

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“Ultimately, it seems that it was too short notice for certain aspects of the logistics and the final decision to cancel was out of our hands.

“We are very sorry to disappoint so many potential visitors and understand that many of you were also planning to travel from outside Letchworth especially for this game.

“We hope everyone manages to watch the game tonight and wish everyone a safe and enjoyable experience.”

A spokeswoman for Herts police said: “As a matter of course Hertfordshire Constabulary works with local organisations to ensure that events are safe for both the public and any staff working there to protect them from harm and to ensure that everybody enjoys themselves.

“We have worked with Love Letchworth to give them advice about the appropriate levels of staffing that would be required to ensure that their proposed event was safe and secure for all involved.

“Football fans can expect to see increased police presence across the county - particularly in busy town centres - during tonight’s World Cup match.”

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