Shanghai, July 25 (IANS) Manchester United’s International Champions Cup match against rivals Manchester City has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions here in China, it was announced on Monday.
The decision was made collectively by tournament organisers, participating clubs, the China Football Association, the Beijing Football Association and the management of the National Stadium.
“The cancellation was made in the interest of player safety and comes following extreme weather events in Beijing over a multiple day period, that have left the playing surface in a condition deemed to be unfit for play,” United’s official website said.
“The conditions experienced in Beijing on July 19 and July 20 were reported as being some of the most extreme weather conditions the capital of China has experienced in recent history. Regular rain occurred also on July 21 and July 22”.
“Due to recent weather events, tournament organisers and participating clubs have decided to cancel tonight’s International Champions Cup game,” Man United also tweeted.
“As the leading pre-season tournament globally, International Champions Cup is committed to delivering safe and professional match conditions for the world’s best footballers, that in turn delivers great entertainment for fans.
The extreme weather leading up to the match in Beijing has damaged the National Stadium playing surface to an extent that leaves it in an unplayable condition, Patrick Murphy, the tournament’s spokesperson said.
“We feel very disappointed with the outcome, and have tried our absolute best to save the event following recent extreme rain in Beijing. We appreciate the fans’ devotion and our partners support. We will now focus on delivering a fantastic game in Shenzhen,” Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Man City said.
“It’s extremely disappointing not to be able to play the game in this amazing stadium but the recent torrential rain would have caused problems anywhere in the world and has left the pitch unplayable.”
“We know our fans in China will, like the players and staff, be saddened by the cancellation of the match but I am sure they appreciate that the player safety has to be the top priority,” Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice chairman said.
United head coach Mourinho versus City counterpart Guardiola is set to be a standout rivalry in this season’s English Premier League (EPL), with the two coaches in close proximity for the first time since their days in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona.