BREAKING NEWS: Al-Nassr’s match is OFF because of heavy rain causing electrical problems at the stadium in Riyadh – with fans desperate to see if banned new signing Cristiano Ronaldo would make his debut
- Al-Nassr’s match on Thursday has been postponed due to heavy rain in Riyadh
- It means that Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential Al-Nassr debut has been put on hold
- Heavy rain caused electrical problems at the stadium, which forced the decision
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian debut was put on hold after heavy rainfall saw his new club’s ground beset by electrical issues, causing Thursday’s match to be postponed.
Hundreds of staff, including security, chefs and stadium staff were kept outside with the gates locked as confusion reigned as to whether the match was on.
Officials told MailOnline that the stadium was empty with the game due to kick off in two hours.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s new club Al-Nassr was forced to postpone Thursday’s match due to rain
Heavy rain in Riyadh caused electrical problems at their stadium, causing a postponement
Just before 4pm local time Al-Nassr confirmed their eagerly-awaited match was called off
Groups of chefs in their white uniforms and several hundred security officials dressed in black stood outside the locked gates.
Supporters in the club’s yellow and blue colours, stood outside bewildered as to why there had been no official announcement.
The players’ entrance at gate nine was sealed and unguarded.
Both police officers and security officials told MailOnline they had been told the match was off.
The pitch looked lush green and showed no signs of turning into a quagmire.
Fans had been desperate to be at the ground on Thursday to catch a glimpse of Ronaldo
But in a statement al Nassr said: ‘Due to heavy rain and weather conditions impacting the stadium’s electricity, we have been officially informed that tonight’s match against Al Ta’i is postponed for 24 hours.
‘We apologise for any inconvenience caused to fans and wish everyone safe travels.’
The cancellation adds to the embarrassment for Al-Nassr, which has splashed out upwards of £400million to secure Ronaldo services for the next two-and-a-half years.
One fan Mohammed Quaam , 20, said he was disappointed.
‘It is crazy that they can spend so much money for one player and then can’t even have proper electricity safely in the ground,’ he said.
Ronaldo could still defy the FA ban on him and make his debut for Al Nassr in their next match
Ronaldo is yet to serve the two-match ban he was given by the England Football Association in November for slapping a phone out of the hand of an Everton fan during a game last season
‘My heroes are Messi and Ronaldo and I dream of seeing them play. I hope that he can play when this match takes place.’
Ronaldo’s anticipated debut tonight had already been vetoed by FIFA following the football associations ban on him for two matches, which he has yet to serve, while he was a Manchester United player.
But the club, which did not reveal whether it was going to adhere to the ban, remained tight-lipped as to whether he would have featured.
A senior police officer told MailOnline that the game had been ‘100%’ cancelled and will take place on Friday evening.
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