Rain, rain, go away: weather forces Liverpool to cancel Mong Kok open training session
Amber rainstorm warning means Juergen Klopp’s side have to change plans, raising further questions over Hong Kong Stadium pitch ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Trophy opener against Crystal Palace
Liverpool cancelled Tuesday’s planned open training session at Mong Kok Stadium as heavy rain in Hong Kong wreaked havoc on their preparations for the Premier League Asia Trophy, while also raising further questions over the state of the Hong Kong Stadium pitch just a day before the tournament opener.
Juergen Klopp’s side were due to train in front of their “most passionate supporters” at 4pm at the 7,000-seater venue, having arrived in Hong Kong on Monday.
But despite the amber rainstorm warning being cancelled just before midday, Liverpool opted for an alternative venue that “is unable to accommodate a large number of fans”.
Liverpool begin their Asia Trophy campaign against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, while Leicester City face West Bromwich Albion.
“We will of course continue to monitor the weather and pitch conditions at Mong Kok and will keep our fans updated ahead of Friday’s planned fans open training session,” Liverpool said in a statement.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 18, 2017
“We apologise for the inconvenience this causes and hope our fans will understand that the pitch conditions are critical to our players’ preparations.”
Hong Kong’s weather, and particularly heavy rain at this time of year, has dominated the build-up to the tournament after the shambolic scenes witnessed at Hong Kong Stadium in 2013 as the playing surface turned into a quagmire and was branded dangerous.
Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp hopeful HK$30m pitch can cope as rain batters Hong Kong ahead of Premier League Asia Trophy
“Yeah [it’s a worry],” Liverpool manager Klopp told the Post on Monday when asked about the pitch following his arrival in Hong Kong.
“Players do of course, [and] the pitch is very important, but if it’s bad we can’t change it.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 17, 2017
Liverpool have offered fans holding a wristband for Wednesday’s event to attend another session, schedule for Mong Kok Stadium on Friday, a day ahead of the final and third-place play-off at Hong Kong Stadium.
Liverpool’s squad have not stopped since touching down on Monday with a host of events on just their first day after announcing a new sponsor, new kit and also visiting a children’s hospital.