Man City forced to fly out for pre-season tour of China a day late after being GROUNDED

Manchester City forced to fly out for pre-season tour of China a day late as their plane had to be grounded in UK after being refused airspace

Manchester City have been forced to delay their travel plans for a pre-season tour of China after the flight they were supposed to be on was refused airspace.

The City squad and members of staff were due to fly out on Saturday evening but have been left stranded at Manchester Airport.

City insist they will be able to depart for China on Sunday and will still partake in the Premier League Asia Trophy, which begins on Wednesday.

A club statement read: ‘Due to an unforeseen administrative issue beyond the Club’s control, which is being resolved, regrettably, we will be embarking on our pre-season tour a little later than intended. 

‘We will be travelling tomorrow and look forward to taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy as planned.’

Members of staff wearing club shirts were pictured mulling around with their baggage at Manchester Airport on Saturday as they awaited further instructions.

City announced their travelling squad for the pre-season tournament, which includes new summer signing Rodri, just hours before the news broke about their flight.

Pep Guardiola’s side are scheduled to face West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy opener at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center in Nanjing on Wednesday, with a 1.30pm kick-off (BST).  

City will them contest the trophy final or play-off at Shanghai’s Hongkou Football Stadium next Saturday before heading south to take on Hong Kong SAR Premier League champs Kitchee FC on Wednesday, July 24.