Rain threatens Poland v England match after roof left open

WARSAW Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:44pm BST

1 of 3. Rain puddles cover the pitch before the World Cup 2014 qualifying match between England and Poland at the National Stadium in Warsaw, October 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's World Cup Group H qualifying match against England was facing postponement after the roof of Warsaw's national stadium was left open on Tuesday, leading to the pitch becoming waterlogged after an evening of torrential rain.

The Warsaw stadium has a retractable roof, but a spokeswoman for the Polish football association said neither of the team representatives nor the FIFA delegate wanted to make the decision to close it.

"None of the sides wanted such a solution," said Agnieszka Olejkowska.

"We knew there would be heavy rain but we could not 100 percent predict the downpour.

"There will be a pitch inspection when there will be a decision as to whether the game might go ahead in one hour or postponed until tomorrow."

With the rain continuing to lash down she said it was not possible to close the roof.

"We have a heating system which, if we close the roof, can dry the pitch in 30 minutes.

The match was due to kick off at 1900 GMT but an announcement will be made at 1945 after a further inspection, a FIFA spokesman said.

"In the next 45-60 minutes all efforts will be made to get the game on tonight," said FIFA. "But if not possible, the plan would be to play tomorrow."

(Reporting by Chris Borowski, editing by Ed Osmond)

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