Hurricane Irma threat means Miami Dolphins' NFL opener won't be in Miami

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The Miami Dolphins‘ NFL season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be played in Miami on Sunday due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

The category five hurricane is bringing winds of up to 185 miles per hour towards south Florida, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and is expected to make landfall this weekend.

No decision has yet been made on whether to play the game this weekend on a neutral venue or postpone it until later in the season.

A statement from the league read: “In the interest of public safety in light of the current state of emergency, the NFL, in consultation with the state and local officials as well as both clubs, has decided that playing an NFL game in South Florida this week is not appropriate.”

Both teams are free in week 11 but moving the game to that weekend, most likely November 19, would require them to play their 16 games in consecutive weeks without a break.

Hurricane Irma follows hot on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas and much of the southern United States.

The Houston Texans, whose practice and pre-season arrangements had been affected by Hurricane Harvey, have confirmed that their opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will take place as planned at their NRG Stadium home.

A fund-raising drive set up by Texans defensive end JJ Watt, with an initial goal of 200,000 US dollars, has now raised 20million dollars (£15.3m) to provide supplies for those affected by the disaster.

Additional reporting by the Press Association


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