England flops Gerrard and Rooney pull out of A:3K Football

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England failures Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney have pulled out of A:3K Football event following their part in England's abject performance in the World Cup.

Now organisers have been forced to cancel the Gladiator-style contest at London's O2 Arena scheduled for July 17 despite selling nearly 20,000 tickets at £35 each.

Rooney and Gerrard, who would have earned around £500,000 each for the two-hour event, were due to compete in head-to-head challenges with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Cesc F├ábregas and David Villa to find the world's most skilful player.

But on Wednesday the event was abandoned for this year, just a day after the Three Lions returned from South Africa.

"Both Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney have made it clear they believe it would be inappropriate for them to participate in A:3K at this time," Terry Byrne, a director of A:3K, told The Daily Mail. "We fully understand and respect both players' decisions.

"We could have replaced them with two other players but feel the players involved are six of the best in the world and that is what we promised we would deliver.

"Having consulted all parties involved, everyone agreed the only decision possible was to postpone the event until next summer when we intend to deliver the same six player line-up."

Rob Hallet, president of event promoters AEG Live, added: "As a football fan I totally understand and respect Steven and Wayne's decision to postpone their involvement in A:3K until next year.

"We look forward to hosting the event at the O2 Arena on the rescheduled date in June 2011."

Gerrard scored one goal during England's ill-fated World Cup campaign, while Rooney failed to find the net in four matches and was considered one of the biggest let-downs of the tournament.

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