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Sunderland fans to get partial refunds after Middlesbrough friendly wash-out

The scene at the Riverside Stadium
The scene at the Riverside Stadium

Sunderland AFC fans who travelled to Middlesbrough for the Black Cat's abandoned friendly last month are to get their money back - or some of it, at least.

The Black Cats took on Tony Pulis' side at the Riverside Stadium on Friday, July 27, in what was supposed to be the final fixture of their pre-season campaign.

But the match was abandoned at half-time after the heavens opened.

The players came out for the start of the second half but were quickly ushered in by referee Ross Joyce as thunder and lightning hovered over the Riverside.

The teams were taken off after the floodlights were knocked out, and did not return.

The floodlights were restored within a matter of minutes, but the game was abandoned with the scoreline goalless.

Fans were informed of the decision via a message flashed on the stadium's big screen.

The fixture had originally been planned for the Stadium of Light, but the clubs were forced to switch venues after concerns were raised over safety for travelling fans, with the match clashing with the opening evening of the Sunderland International Airshow.

The 'Boro boss said he understood the referee's decision: "I’ve been in the game a long time and I’ve never seen a game called off for what we had at half-time," he said.

"It’s another thing on my belt of the things I’ve seen and done in football.

"The referee had said beforehand that the weather had been calculated to hit us around eight o’clock and he said then that if it’s that bad, there will be no risks and no chances taken."

Now Sunderland AFC has confirmed that fans will be able to claim a partial refund for the cost of attending the game.

A club statement said: "Following the abandonment of the recent pre-season friendly game at the Riverside Stadium, supporters who purchased tickets are being offered a 50% refund on their match ticket.

"In order to claim their refund, supporters must contact the Stadium of Light ticket office, quoting the customer number that was used to purchase the tickets.

"Refunds will be processed on to credit or debit cards. Cash refund will not be available.

"The deadline to claim a refund is 4pm, August 31 2018."