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England duo opt out of London challenge event

Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard have pulled out of a proposed challenge event at London's 02 Arena on 17 July following England's World Cup failure, reports BBC Sport. A spokesman for A:3K's organisers said the England pair "have made it clear they believe it would be inappropriate for them to participate at this time."

Chelsea's Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal, David Villa and Cristiano Ronaldo were also due to feature.

It is hoped to reschedule the event for June 2011.

Director of A:3K Terry Byrne added: "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."

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