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England fan angry at treatment in Poland after abandoned match due to waterlogged pitch
An avid England fan from Hampshire has hit out at the Football Association, after being caught up in yesterday's “farcical” scenes in Poland.
Leighton O'Hara, 40, made the 2,000-mile round trip to Warsaw yesterday, to watch the Three Lions in action in their crucial World Cup Qualifying fixture.
But the match at the National Stadium was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, after the Polish FA failed to close the stadium's roof.
Now Leighton, who travelled to the game with brother-in-law, Stuart Smith, alongside around 2,500 other England fans, has slammed both football associations for their part in the fiasco.
It also meant he had to come home and miss the re-arranged match this afternoon which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Publican, Leighton, from Hythe, said it felt like the Polish FA had “travelled back in time” by not utilising the multi-million pound arena's roof, despite torrential downpours in the build-up to kick off.
And Leighton also called on the English FA to lay on free flights for fans to their next game in Sweden, after “shocking communication” with the loyal supporters who travelled to the Polish capital yesterday.
He told the Daily Echo: “It was absolutely hammering it down when we got to the stadium - like a proper tropical storm.
“It was like a river outside. There must have been two inches of water. We got into the ground 90 minutes before the kick off and as soon as I saw the pitch I said 'there's no way this game is being played.'
“But the only communication we had was from people back home on our mobiles. We didn't get any news from the FA.
“There was nothing from them to help us. They have obviously arranged new flights for Adrian Chiles and co., so they can commentate for ITV. So why didn't they offer fans the same help?”
Leighton said he has been left £400 out of pocket after the day trip, which he booked with the FA's official travel partner, Thomson.
But he said he is not expecting any refunds from English football's governing body.
The match was put back by 20 hours and finally kicked-off at 4pm BST this afternoon.