Chinese soccer fans were left furious Monday after a long-awaited Manchester derby in the Beijing Bird's Nest stadium was abruptly canceled just hours before kickoff.
"The International Champions Cup China, Manchester United versus Manchester City match is cancelled due to the extreme weather events in Beijing over a multiple day period. The committee and both teams make the decision together in the interest of player safety," organizers Catalyst LeEco Sports said in an official statement.
"Due to international travel schedules and planned sporting commitments, the match cancellation is definitive and the match will not be re-scheduled."
Heavy rainfall overnight is believed to be the reason the pre-season match was called off, despite it being sunny and around 32 degrees Celsius in the hours leading up the the game.
At China's National Stadium - which hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - groups of fans wearing the kits of both teams were seen walking towards the event, unaware of the last-minute pullout by the top two English Premier League teams.
The anger from the Chinese media and soccer fans was compounded when the two teams canceled a news conference where they were due to to address journalists regarding the unpopular decision to cancel.