Bournemouth’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Nottingham Forest has joined the growing number of sporting fixtures to be postponed as Storm Eunice hits the UK.
The Cherries said the decision was made on safety grounds after high winds caused damage to the Vitality Stadium.
A statement on the Bournemouth website read: “Structural engineers have carried out an inspection of the stadium and have confirmed that the damage could pose a significant risk to supporters’ safety.
Tonight's game against Nottingham Forest has been postponed for safety reasons following damage to Vitality Stadium caused by Storm Eunice.— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) February 18, 2022
“The ongoing impact of the storm means the damage cannot be repaired in time either to fulfil the fixture on Friday, or at a re-arranged time on Saturday.
“The postponement was recommended by the club’s Safety Advisory Group.
“The club apologises for the inconvenience caused by this announcement, but would like to reassure supporters it has been made with the safety of everyone due to attend the match in mind.”
Forest expressed their regrets over the postponement, saying on the club website: “The club truly appreciates the efforts of supporters already in Bournemouth and those travelling this afternoon.
“We are extremely disappointed the match will not now take place this weekend.
“The club tried its very best to have the match played.”
The game between second-placed Bournemouth and Forest, just outside the play-off spots in seventh, was due to be televised live on Sky Sports.
Southend’s National League fixture against Grimsby scheduled for Friday night has also been called off.
A Southend statement read: “Between 2pm and 4pm the situation deteriorated significantly. Advertising boards have been torn off their sightings and screws and other debris have been strewn across the pitch.”
Exeter’s Sky Bet League Two clash against Barrow, due to be played on Saturday, was called off earlier on Friday, with rugby union and racing also affected by one of the worst storms to hit the UK in a generation.
Dunfermline’s cinch Championship clash against Partick Thistle on Friday night was also postponed, along with the United Rugby Championship match between Cardiff and Zebre.
Race meetings at Fakenham, Lingfield and Southwell were all called off, with the Met Office issuing rare red warnings as potentially record-breaking gusts of more than 120mph were recorded in the most exposed areas.
Exeter said they had postponed their match due to “concerns over the integrity” of St James Park.
“We will always take everyone’s safety seriously, and therefore while this is a difficult decision, we do not have a sufficient window of opportunity to inspect the high level structure to confirm if any lasting damage has been done by the persistent high winds,” read a statement.
“We have tried to ensure that this decision has been made early for everyone’s benefit, including Barrow who would be travelling down today.
“All options to inspect the necessary connections at high level of the Big Bank are not possible during high winds, which are expected to continue until the scheduled kick-off tomorrow.”
The match at East End Park was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, while the decision over Zebre’s trip to the Arms Park was made “in the health and safety interests of all staff and team personnel involved”.
There will also be a 9am inspection on Saturday morning at Salford to see if their League Two clash with Crawley can go ahead.
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