Manchester City’s Champions League opener against Borussia Monchengladbach has been called off due to adverse weather conditions.
An afternoon downpour was followed by persistently heavy rain and in the build-up to Tuesday night’s match – which was due to kick-off at 7.45pm – the Etihad Stadium pitch became heavily waterlogged.
Referee Bjorn Kuipers and UEFA officials inspected the pitch and, although it appeared to drain well after the rain relented soon afterwards, the game was called off.
A sign at the Eithad Stadium explains that City’s Champions League match has been called off
The Etihad Stadium was hit by heavy rainfall before Manchester City’s game was postponed
Manchester City’s goalkeeper Willy Caballero kicks a ball on the waterlogged pitch
The travelling fans had begun to make their way inside before being told of postponement
UEFA RULES REGARDING POSTPONED MATCHES
If the match cannot commence for whatever reason (e.g. condition of the field of play), it must be played either the next day or on a reserve date or other date set by the UEFA administration. A decision must be taken within two hours of the decision to cancel the match, in consultation with the two clubs and the associations concerned. In case of dispute, the UEFA administration fixes the date and kick-off time of the match. Its decision is final.
‘Tonight’s #UCL match between #mcfc and @borussia-en has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions,’ City said in a statement on their Twitter feed.
Although the stadium was largely empty at the time, with most City fans having decided against entering, a number of Monchengladbach supporters, who had taken their positions, booed a public announcement.
It had rained heavily in Manchester for several hours prior to the game’s scheduled kick-off and there was thunder and lightning overhead as fans made their way to the stadium.
It is understood the decision to call the game off was taken because of safety conditions around the stadium, rather than concerns about the pitch, which drained well when rain finally eased.
UEFA’s rules state that if a match in the competition is postponed, a decision on when it will take place must be taken within two hours of the postponement.
A further statement from the club read: ‘Tonight’s UEFA Champions League fixture at home to Borussia Monchengladbach has been postponed.
‘Torrential rainfall across Manchester throughout the evening led to flooding in the areas around the ground, which forced the decision on safety and security grounds.
‘The game will now be rescheduled and the club will announce a new date in due course.’
Referee Bjorn Kuipers assesses the waterlogged pitch prior to Tuesday night’s match
The Dutch match official is seen kicking the ball during the pitch inspection on Tuesday night
A general view of the stadium as fans were warned of the slippy surfaces inside the Etihad
The waterlogged Etihad Stadium goalmouth can be seen before group game was postponed
A group of UEFA officials carrying blue umbrellas performed a pitch inspection around 45 minutes prior to the scheduled kick-off time.
Manchester City’s goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero had come out to warm up, but were ushered inside.
There was no immediate news of when the game would be played although UEFA are expected to announce a rescheduled date shortly.
Manchester’s Metrolink tram system had to be temporarily suspended and photographs circulating on social media showed huge puddles in city centre streets.
Caballero and Claudio Bravo of Manchester City look on from the Etihad Stadium pitch
A Borussia Monchengladbach supporter wrings out his shirt as heavy rain falls on Tuesday
The travelling supporters from Germany were in fine voice despite the game being called off
Supporters inside the Etihad Stadium for the match came dressed for the occasion
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