Boro game off after 30 water pipes burst at Riverside
MIDDLESBROUGH'S Championship clash with Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day has been postponed. A statement on the club's website said the match was called off for safety reasons. "Following a recommendation from the stadium's Safety Advisory Group, the Football League has given permission to postpone the game for safety and hygiene reasons," a spokesman said. "Boro staff have been battling the elements after at least 30 water pipes burst during the sustained freezing conditions, causing substantial damage to areas of the stadium and resulting in a lack of water supply to the majority of the stadium's toilet blocks. "With the risk that further leaks could cause potential safety problems and faced with extremely limited toilet facilities within the stadium, it was decided that there was no option but to postpone the game." Boro's chief operating officer, Neil Bausor, said: "As I know the fans will be, we are all hugely disappointed that such a big game has had to be called off. "However, having taken onboard the views of the stadium's Safety Advisory Group, the Football League has agreed that the stadium would not have been in a safe state to host the match. "We have a fantastic team of people who have successfully battled against the odds to ensure our last two home games went ahead. However, the safety challenges posed by the recent problems unfortunately led to this postponement." No date has been set for the rearranged game, but seats booked will remain valid. Meanwhile, Darlington's game at home to Fleetwood Town on Boxing Day has also been postponed. Local league official Steve Smith made the call after an inspection this morning, due to a frozen pitch. The rearranged details will be announced in due course. Darlington's next game is due to be against local rivals Gateshead, although the Tynesiders are holding a pitch inspection on the morning of the game.
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