Leeds’ first of three pre-season games in Austria, scheduled against german second division side FC Ingolstadt this Sunday, has been called off because of security concerns.
Ingolstadt’s official twitter account (@schanzer) have tweeted out: ‘The #schanzer test game on Sunday against Leeds was unfortunately cancelled due to safety concerns of local authorities in the short term.’, despite Leeds yet to release an official statement.
With the game less than two days away the local authorities have left it extremely late to abandon the match, with hundreds of Leeds fans expected to make the trip to the Kufstein Arena in Austria. Despite this, Leeds have had some problems in the past when it comes to Austrian pre-season games against german opposition. In 2015 United fans clashed with Eintracht Frankfurt supporters in the ground, after the Whites lost 2-1 in Salzburg. The incident involved around 100 balaclaved Frankfurt fans, who the police blamed for the trouble, and resulted in 17 german fans arrested- as well as riot police being deployed within the stadium and multiple injuries to supporters, police and stewards.
The abandonment will now delay the possible debuts of new signings Caleb Ekuban, Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski, who all joined the club in the past week. With the team also flying out to their base in Kufstein this morning, they will now have to wait until Thursday 20th July for their first match; playing Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach at the same scheduled venue to the Ingolstadt game.
So far new head coach Thomas Christiansen has won all three of the pre-season matches played, however all were against non-league opposition. The matches in Austria will prove to be much more of a tougher test; but with one of the three now abandoned, Leeds will now only face Monchengladbach and spanish outfit Eibar before facing Oxford United at Elland Road one week before the Championship season kicks off.