FORMER Manchester United and Australia goalkeeper Mark Bosnich wants ALL sporting events in the country cancelled because of the devastating bushfires.
It is believed more than a billion animals and 26 people have died in the raging blazes.
The Australian Open – the first tennis Grand Slam of the year – starts on Monday, January 20.
It is set to go ahead even though ex-Bayern Munich star Alexander Baumjohann said playing outside is like "smoking 50 ciagrettes a day".
Speaking on Sky Sports News, ex-Chelsea and Villa star Bosnich said: "It's been an absolute disaster, a true disaster, one that I've never seen in all the time I've spent here in Australia.
"People have lost everything including their lives. Over six million hectares has been destroyed and its ongoing.
"The air here in Sydney… you can only see about 300 metres away.
"Me personally, I'm always of the opinion that when there's such a disaster [as this] everything else should pretty much stop.
"We had the debate about the fireworks display for New Year's Eve and why people are suffering so great I believe the least you can do is stop.
"But as was made aware to me there are people coming from all over the country and world with pre-paid fares and hotels.
"It's very difficult because it's unprecedented and people are really suffering."
Organisers for the Australian Open say they do not "expect any delays" to the start of the tournament.
Air quality in Melbourne has reached "very unhealthy" levels but tournament organisers have introduced "additional measures" to ensure it can run.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said: "The forecast is good. We don't expect any delays and we've implemented additional measures to ensure the Australian Open will be able to run as scheduled."
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