Due to torrential rains in the Chinese capital, Beijing, the first Manchester derby between United and City has been cancelled.
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
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 25, 2016
The keenly anticipated match was exciting due to the clash of not just the Manchester clubs but also two of the best coaches in the league: Mourinho vs Guardiola!
Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were meant to meet in Beijing as arch rivals on Monday, but the two managers were united in their condemnation of the pitch for the first Manchester derby on foreign soil as their tour of China descended into farce.
The pair dismissed any doubts that they will shake hands at the Bird’s Nest Stadium and expressed concerns that the poor surface could put their players at risk three weeks before the start of the new Premier League season.
The pitch has been hit by fungus and although the affected areas have been dug up, torrential rain in Beijing has washed away the replacement turf, leaving a dangerous playing surface.
United and City were forced to switch their pre-match training sessions to the nearby Olympic Sports Centre to try to protect and preserve the surface at the Bird’s Nest for the game.
More than 70 ground-staff have been working day and night to ensure the pitch is safe to play on, but Mourinho and Guardiola fear their players have been put in unnecessary danger by organisers of the International Champions Cup.