Alessandro Del Piero has been denied a pre-season match before his A-League debut after Central Coast pulled out of its match with Sydney FC on Wednesday.
The Italian great was due to feature in his first match for the Sky Blues, behind closed doors at Allianz Stadium.
But Mariners coach Graham Arnold on Tuesday announced his team has withdrawn from the match due to concerns over the players' welfare.
Arnold said his players are tired and had picked up some injuries after a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar in Maroochydore on Sunday. An apologetic Arnold said he was disappointed to have to cancel the match.
"I spoke at length to Sydney FC coach Ian Crook who totally understands our situation as Sydney have had to call off games due to the same situation this pre-season," Arnold said.
"Originally the game was booked for Thursday but had to be moved to Wednesday due to the Del Piero factor.
"We played in Maroochydore on Sunday against Brisbane in very warm conditions and that has sapped the energy of our players.
"We also copped a few slight injuries and after travelling back yesterday we had a light training session this morning.
"The players have not recovered sufficiently for me to put them in a high-risk situation by playing again tomorrow.
"It was my decision to cancel the game as I don't want to jeopardise the welfare of any of our players."
The Mariners open their A-League season against Western Sydney at Parramatta Stadium on 6 October and Arnold said he was satisfied with where his team was at.
A spokesperson from Sydney FC confirmed it won't be able to arrange another pre-season match before it's Round 1 clash with Wellington in New Zealand on 6 October.
The Sky Blues' scheduled match against Newcastle last week was also cancelled and they last played a trial against Brisbane in Mackay on 16 September. Del Piero will make his A-League debut against the Phoenix and officials will be hoping he is ready to play a large part in Sydney's first home game of the year, against the Jets on 13 October.
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Pedj Bojic and midfielder Oliver Bozanic look to have played their last games for Central Coast Mariners as the A-League champion faces a raft of departures.