Manchester United cancel training session amid safety fears

The 40,000-seater ground has been badly damaged by heavy rain and the strain of hosting four matches in as many days, and there have been fears for the safety of the players

Manchester United have cancelled a planned open training session due to concerns over the surface at the Hong Kong Stadium.

The 40,000-capacity ground has hosted four games in as many days with Manchester City, Sunderland, Tottenham and South China taking part in the Asia Trophy pre-season tournament.

The first two matches of the competition were shortened to 80 minutes after heavy rainfall had flooded the pitch, but that did not prevent Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen from picking up an ankle injury.

And David Moyes has elected to protect his players from a similar fate by pulling United out of the scheduled appearance.

"Manchester United, Kitchee and the Hong Kong Football Association have reluctantly made the decision to cancel the open training session, planned for tomorrow [Sunday] evening at the Hong Kong stadium," a statement read.

"The pitch has suffered from torrential rainfall in the last week, as well as staging a number of games in a very short space of time.

"Wednesday's matches [Sunderland v Tottenham, Manchester City v South China] had their kick-offs delayed, only proceeding after being shortened to 40-minute halves.

"The weather has continued to present problems for the pitch and the first consideration of both the HKFA and the club has to be the safety of the players in such conditions.

"The club has consulted with the Hong Kong FA and has also taken advice from Kitchee. In the absence of any other suitable facility, the open session has had to be cancelled."

United's pre-season campaign will continue when they take on Kitchee FC on Monday.