The match between Manchester City and Manchester United in Beijing on Monday was cancelled due to the pitch being in poor condition after heavy rain.
The game who was part of the International Champions Cup in China was supposed to take place at the National Stadium, but the pitch was deemed to be unfit to play on after several days of extremely heavy rain leading up to the game.
Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement: “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. I am sure we will return to the Bird’s Nest in the future to give them the chance to see the team in action.”
The game, that would have been the first Manchester derby outside of England, will not be rescheduled.
ICC tournament spokesperson Patrick Murphy said: “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.
“We have collectively made this cancellation decision in the interest of player safety and concerns over the players’ subsequent ability to put on a display for the fans that meets the quality standard of the International Champions Cup.
“We thank all parties who contributed to the planned staging of this match, in particular the tens of thousands of fans who committed to purchasing tickets. An appropriate refund policy will be put in place by our local partners for those fans.”