La Liga’s postponed weekend game that was to feature Celta Vigo and Real Madrid has ensued chaos in Spain
Riding atop the La Liga standings Real Madrid were set to visit the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos on Sunday to take on a struggling Celta Vigo side. However, roughly 36 hours before kick-off, the game was called off by La Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) as the stadium was in an inhospitable condition to entertain fans.
As per the BBC, the owner of the Balaidos – the Vigo city council – declared the stadium unsafe on Saturday and asked for the match to be rescheduled. Prior to that, city mayor Abel Caballero had told the media that it was impossible for the game to go ahead as planned.
Speaking to AS, Caballero said: “It is impossible to play. There would be a serious threat to the safety of people.It would be an absolute recklessness to have played. Closed topic.”
The damage to the stadium was due to an unpleasant storm that hit Spain late on Thursday night. According to Sid Lowe of the Guardian, an average of 80 litres of water fell per square metre, 126 in the worst hit areas, and winds reached 120kph.
This caused serious damage to Celta Vigo’s stadium and also airport towers and trees completely destroyed. Rivers began to overflow and this natural calamity saw two people lose their lives.
Two games from the Spanish top-flight were deservedly cancelled including Friday night’s contest between Deportivo la Coruna and Real Betis after parts of the stadium roof were shredded to bits. The plastic sheeting in the stands was completely broken, screws and bolts were getting looser and the remaining parts of the roof were full of holes in them.
It was a similar conditions 160 kilometers down south where the wind tore into the roof of Celta Vigo’s stadium ahead of their highly-anticipated weekend fixture against table-toppers Real Madrid.
Pieces of the roof were lying on the ground, as well as in the stands and on the pitch. A 20 metre hole was ripped into the roof which saw the inspecting officers to declare the stadium as unsafe for the fans as well as the players.
The cancellation of the game did not go well with Real Madrid and they did everything they can to make sure that the game went on. It wasn’t their fault that the stadium was in shambles, and postponing the match would add to their congested fixture list due to their multiple competition commitments this season.
In order to make sure the fixture takes place, Real Madrid offered the Celta mayor a number of solutions. According to Real’s official club statement, they proposed three different alternatives to ensure that the game carries on without any hindrances.
First, they were willing to offer consideration for the damaged roof by sending in their own technicians to fix it. Secondly, they suggested that the stand in question could be shut as the other stands were not too damaged. Real then proposed the idea of shifting the venue to a neutral stadium as they did not want it to affect their fixture list.
Also, postponement of the fixture would have seen a number of television channels across the world incur significant losses which would in turn affect future tenders for the sale of broadcasting rights.
Real then suggested that the claims made by the Celta president where he stated that Los Blancos disregarded the security measures required were “inappropriate and totally inaccurate.”
European Super League threat made by Real
Due to the events that have unfolded in the recent few days, Real Madrid have reportedly made a bold threat to boycott La Liga and form a Super League that will comprise of all of Europe’s top clubs.
According to a report in the AS, Real were unhappy with Celta’s handling of the incident, and believed 36 hours was enough time to build a new roof. Due to which they have now started to push the idea of a Super League which was first proposed in 2012.
Good morning. Real Madrid threaten to break away from LaLiga and form a European Superleague. Today’s front cover story. pic.twitter.com/AW13q2jO0W
— AS English (@English_AS) February 6, 2017
Marca reports that Real are likely to walk out of the La Liga to form a one-of-its-own brand of a footballing league. Top European clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Paris St. Germain and Juventus are also believed to be a part of the project, and would join in if Real form the league.
A Super League could give the likes of Bayern, Barcelona and Real compete with the Premier League’s elite on a regular basis and treat the fans to exhilarating matches all year round. It is far from a dream now, and the next few months could be key in shaping European football.