English Premier League

Beijing’s Manchester derby axed as heavy rainfall makes ‘Bird’s Nest’ pitch unplayable

The highly anticipated exhibition match is cancelled after persistent rain

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 3:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 4:18pm

The highly anticipated exhibition match between Manchester United and Manchester City scheduled to take place at the ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium in Beijing tonight has been cancelled due to recent bad weather.

Beijing has seen unusually high rainfall in recent days and there were concerns about the condition of the playing surface.

A Manchester United statement read: “Due to recent weather events, tournament organisers and participating clubs have made the decision to cancel the International Champions Cup fixture to be played in Beijing tonight, 25 July.”

The International Champions Cup is a preseason series of friendly exhibition association tournaments and was hosted in China for the first time in 2015.

Flooding is not uncommon during the summer monsoon season in northern China, but rains have been unusually heavy across the country this summer.

Rainstorms lashed the region this week, driving over 300,000 people from their homes and leaving hundreds of thousands more trapped as waters rose.

More than 200 people have been left dead or missing in the neighbouring province of Hebei.

Additional reporting by AFP