The international friendly between Manchester United and Manchester City, originally planned to kickoff in Beijing at 7:30 p.m. earlier this evening, was called off by event organizers due to severe weather conditions. The game was scheduled to be played in front of a sellout crowd of 91,000 at the Bird’s Nest stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics Game.
In an announcement issued this afternoon, the event organizer said that: “Due to the recent torrential downpour, both the tournament organizer and participant teams have decided to cancel the International Champions Cup hosted at the National Stadium tonight in order to protect the safety of both players and fans.” Manchester United also issued a similar statement on its official Twitter account.
Due to recent weather events, tournament organisers & participating clubs have decided to cancel tonight's International Champions Cup game.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 25, 2016
The pitch condition at the National Stadium was far from ideal as Beijing experiences more torrential rainfall. Stadium officials had been battling to ensure that the field would be playable for the game, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of having to call off the highly-anticipated match.
The managers of both teams, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, previously expressed their concerns for the condition of the field at the National Stadium. “We know the conditions, but we have to play. The conditions for the training session are not the best, but for training we can control the situation by doing very little and by not bringing the players into risky situations”, Mourinho said after yesterday’s training session. “In a match it’s more difficult so, again, I hope our players and City’s players go home without any kind of injury to start the competitive period well.”
Manchester United’s China tour has not gone the way the team had expected both on and off the field. On Friday, the Red Devils suffered a huge defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the opening match of the International Champions Cup. Their plane also was apparently “lost” in Tianjin, 70 miles away from Beijing as severe weather prevented the plane from landing in the Chinese capital. Later that day, Mourinho had also reportedly abandoned a scheduled press conference because the room hosting the conference was “too hot and full.”
— Memphis (@Memphis) July 23, 2016
Despite the general disappointing nature of the eight-day China tour, there is certainly some positive moments to be taken away from the journey, like this warm welcome from Chinese fans…
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) July 24, 2016