Adam Le Fondre will not have a chance to add to his goalscoring tally in the derby. (AAP: Brendon Thorne)
The Sydney derby between league leaders Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers has been postponed due to an unplayable pitch at Kogarah Oval.
- Rain has meant that the pitch at Kogarah Oval is unplayable, leading to the Sydney derby being postponed
- No decision has been made on the status of the Big Bash final, set to take place Saturday evening at the SCG
- No date has been set for the match to be rescheduled
Persistent wet weather in Sydney over the past 36 hours, with the threat of more to come, has left the pitch unplayable.
A-League boss Greg O’Rourke made the final decision to postpone the fixture after inspecting the pitch in the morning with the match referees, broadcaster Fox Sports and ground staff.
“With over 100mm of rain falling in the Sydney area over the past two days, and in the interest of player welfare, all parties agreed that it was not possible to play the match as scheduled today,” said O’Rourke.
“Whilst it is disappointing … this was the right decision to give fans as much notice as possible under the circumstances.”
This is the first time since 2015 that an A-League match has been postponed due to wet weather, after Brisbane Roar’s 2015 clash with Melbourne Victory was delayed due to rain associated with Cyclone Marcia.
Sydney FC chief executive Danny Townsend said that the safety of the players and supporters was the deciding factor.
“Obviously we are disappointed to have to postpone the game, but the safety of the players is paramount and the pitch was in no state to host the game due to the amount of rain we have had,” Townsend said.
“Credit to the ground staff for their efforts to stage the match but due to the amount of overnight rain and surface water, plus the predicted downpour we just can’t play the game.
“We also have to consider the safety of our members and supporters inside the ground as well, and what sort of a spectacle we’d be providing if we went ahead.”
Wanderers won the first derby of the season 1-0 at the new Parramatta stadium thanks to a Mitchell Duke goal in front of 28,519 spectators.
Authorities were expecting close to a full house of 20,500 fans to attend the match on Saturday evening.
There has been no indication yet as to when the rescheduled match would take place.
The postponement has dire implications for Saturday night’s Big Bash final, which is set to take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, just 15km to the north east of Kogarah.
Cricket Australia has already moved its bushfire relief match — which was scheduled to take place before the final between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars — south to Melbourne, but has no plans to move the main match.
If there is no play possible, the Sixers would be crowned champions.