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Jan 27, 2012

Gold Coast, Mariners clash rained off

Fan safety ultimately forced the FFA's late decision to call off Friday night's A-League clash between the Gold Coast and Central Coast at Skilled Park.

While the pitch was playable and had been marked out, the Gold Coast club held concerns about localised flooding and the risk to supporters travelling through flooded areas to get to the game.

It's understood they sought advice from both the Bureau of Meteorology and the State Emergency Service during five hours of discussions with the FFA.

"One life is too many to lose in Queensland's current environment with all the flooding at the moment," said United's chief executive Clive Mensink.

He said the Skilled Park pitch was in magnificent order despite all the rain this week but the decision to postponed the game had been based largely on public and fan safety.

"The game could have gone ahead but we chose to err on the side of caution at these times," Mensink told AAP.

"We don't want to risk people driving through flooded roads, that's the big message at the moment in Queensland."

Conditions around Skilled Park would have made it difficult for fans to get to the ground and possibly even harder returning home if the weather deteriorated further during the game.

The nearby park-and-ride facility was flooded, the stadium's makeshift low level car park was under water and the rail bridge access to Robina Station alongside Skilled Park was under threat.

An FFA spokesman told AAP at 5pm local time (6pm AEDT) the game would go ahead.

But 15 minutes later word came through it was "off" and that a re-scheduled fixture would be announced in the coming days.

The last time Central Coast travelled to Skilled Park in December a severe thunderstorm hit the ground and the game was called off after 30 minutes.

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