Weather chaos hits sport: Northern Ireland v Russia postponed

The game will now take place tomorrow

Tonight's World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Russia in Belfast has been postponed until 3pm tomorrow, with snow rendering conditions unplayable at Windsor Park.

Snow began to fall overnight and persisted throughout the day, coating the pitch in a thick covering.

Norwegian referee Tom Hagen and a team of match delegates completed a series of inspections starting from 10am but the likelihood of a game looked remote for much of the day and a decision was finally made at 2.30pm.

Question marks will naturally be raised over the likelihood of the game taking place tomorrow, with more bad weather expected through the night.

The Irish Football Association announced a briefing at 10.30am in the morning, during which more details will be provided.

IFA staff - including chief executive Patrick Nelson - did their best to salvage the situation today by shovelling snow from the pitch in grim conditions, but their efforts were in vain.

Windsor Park, home to Irish League outfit Linfield, is among the more basic on the international circuit and has little to no defence against the elements, such as under-soil heating.

The delay is likely to cause additional problems, with Northern Ireland due to host Israel in the second match of the Group F double-header on Tuesday.

That match is now itself in some doubt, with the pitch highly unlikely to be in an acceptable condition should a game go ahead this weekend.

Russia, meanwhile, are due to play Brazil in a friendly at Stamford Bridge on Monday but now face the prospect of a one-day break between games.

The inclement weather also forced the closure of the runway at George Best Belfast City Airport and the Association of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs registered their concerns with the IFA over the safety of fans travelling to the match.

The first casualty of the weekend was tonight's Super League game between Wakefield and Leeds.

The Wildcats said in a statement on their website that the clash had been wiped out due to heavy snowfall and it would instead be played on Sunday afternoon at 3.30pm.

There was good news for rugby league fans, however, as the game between Warrington and top-of-the-table Huddersfield passed a midday inspection.

Tomorrow's npower League Two football fixture between Bradford and Bristol Rovers has already been postponed.

Racing went ahead at Doncaster, though, after the course passed an 11am inspection.

Tomorrow's race meeting at Stratford has already been scrubbed off, though, with course officials citing a waterlogged track.

Although the course was raceable upon inspection at 6.45am this morning, another check at noon put paid to any chances of racing at the weekend.

Clerk of the course Stephen Lambert said: "We are waterlogged in a few places and the weather has left the ground very patchy and it's just not safe.

"The forecast is horrendous for the next 24 hours with at least another 11 or 12 millimetres of rain to come, starting at about 4pm today.

"The ground is patchy and I'm just not happy with it."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum