February 8, 2020 / 5:44 AM / 19 days ago

Torrential rain now affecting sports in Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Torrential rain has forced the postponement of an A-League derby match in Sydney on Saturday, continuing the run of sports events affected by adverse weather conditions in Australia.

The clash between the league-leading Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers had been scheduled to be held at Kograh Oval on Saturday evening.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) officials, however, postponed the match after an inspection of the venue earlier on Saturday and in consultation with the clubs and broadcasters.

“With over 100 millimetres 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,” FFA Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke said.

“Whilst it is disappointing that a nearly sold-out crowd is unable to see another iconic Sydney derby today, this was the right decision.”

FFA said the match would be rescheduled following discussions with the clubs and broadcasters.

The soccer clash was not the only top-level sport affected on Saturday, with the final of the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash cricket league between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars also in jeopardy.

Australian sports events have been badly affected by adverse weather in the last few months, principally due to bushfires.

A Big Bash match in Canberra was abandoned in December due to bushfire smoke, while players attempting to qualify for the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam in Melbourne in early January complained of not being able to breathe properly.

The fires, however, have actually been doused in the last 24 hours by the biggest rainfall in almost 20 years, while Western Australia is also bracing for a lashing from severe tropical cyclone Damien.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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