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Monday 27 February 2017

Man United's Chinese tour from hell continues with press conference fiasco

Mark Ogden

BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 24: Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference as part of their pre-season tour of China at Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on July 24, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 24: Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference as part of their pre-season tour of China at Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on July 24, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Manchester United's tour of China descended into chaos on Sunday with Jose Mourinho forced to hold a pre-match press briefing on the side of the stadium pitch due to stifling conditions inside the conference room.

Hours earlier, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was handed a towel to wipe his brow as temperatures reached unbearable levels inside the Olympic Sports Centre.

That venue had already been hastily arranged after both teams were told they could not train on the pitch at the Bird's Nest Stadium.

Read more: Man United 'marooned somewhere in China' following emergency landing

But with United's security team vetoing the cramped press room due to the heat and overcrowding, Mourinho spoke to a bank of journalists by the side of the pitch moments before training in Beijing.

The incident capped a chaotic 24 hours for United, with half the squad 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.

Read more: Paul Pogba arrival spells Man United end for Bastian Schweinsteiger

And United and City are now both anxiously waiting to discover if Monday's friendly clash in Beijing will go ahead due to pitch concerns at the Bird's Nest.

Groundstaff are working overnight to repair the pitch, which faces a further battering from torrential downpours forecast for the next 24 hours.

(© Independent News Service)

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