Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho is facing a serious disappointment–bigger than what Anthony Martial feels about his No. 9. Today’s International Champions Cup scheduled against Manchester City in Beijing has been canceled due to poor weather conditions, after the clubs and fans had longed for this day to come.
Image: Mourinho giving a press conference outside the stadium pitch due to bad weather conditions.
Mourinho was forced to hold a pre-match press briefing on the side of the stadium pitch in order to avoid chaotic scenes inside the conference room at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Earlier reports said, “half the squad were re-routed to an airport 160 miles outside of Beijing with the flight from Shanghai diverted as a result of adverse weather in the Chinese capital”.
China is still witnessing series of floods in most cities, and the number of lives lost has been on the increase in recent weeks.
Unfortunately, the timing for this would-be memorable derby between two English clubs has denied ‘crazy’ football lovers in the country, a chance to watch their idols play in Beijing.
In the words of United manager Jose Mourinho, the pitch at the Bird’s Nest Stadium is “very bad”.
Image: Jose Mourinho and Manchester United squad jetting off to Beijing.
A statement on the United website confirmed what would have been the first Manchester derby outside the UK had been postponed.
“Due to recent weather events, tournament organizers and participating clubs have made the decision to cancel the International Champions Cup fixture to be played in Beijing tonight, 25 July,” said the statement.
Reports say both Manchester United and Manchester City have tendered official apologies to Chinese fans, for the decision not to hold the match as scheduled. Most football lovers had traveled to Beijing ahead of time, made bought tickets and paid for hotel rooms.
Image: Jose Mourinho
City chief executive Ferran Soriano said in the club’s official website: “We are very disappointed not to be able to play for our supporters here in Beijing. The players have been working hard in training to prepare for an exciting derby.
“We know how much everyone was looking forward to the game, but we understand that this bad weather is beyond anyone’s control, and that the rain has made it totally unsafe to play on this pitch.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to experience such a warm welcome from the people and supporters here in Beijing, and we remain committed to playing here in the future.”
Image: Chinese fans take photos during Manchester United’s training tour.
Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward had this to say on the disappointment: “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.”
Image: Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho meets Joel and Avram Glazer in China.
Jose Mourinho is known to have always been open in his statements, no matter how many more critics choose to join the bandwagon. He openly criticized the situation in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium at the weekend, saying “his only objective was to get his players home healthy”, Sky Sports wrote.
He said on Sunday, according to reports from the sports website: “I think Beijing is unlucky because the pitch is very bad.
“The condition of my players is more important than the results in pre-season.
“My only objective is to take the players home safe and without injury. These are no conditions to play a good game of football.
“If it was a friendly, it becomes a double friendly now. No injuries, play calm, play safe, go home and keep the preparation for next week. I hope our players and City’s players can go home without injury.”
Image: Manchester United players looking excited on the plane.