The La Liga match between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo was canceled after strong winds damaged the latter’s Balaidos stadium – the same venue where Los Blancos were eliminated from Copa del Rey competitions nearly 2 weeks ago.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said at a press conference on Saturday that he was anxious to get results from the long-awaited game.
However, news of the extreme weather damages led to Vigo mayor Abel Caballero, telling Radio Vigo that the club had no chance of hosting Madrid last Sunday.
The match between Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis was also canceled last Friday for safety reasons.
Speaking with Radio Vigo in an interview, the mayor said: “I have already spoken with the Celta president and they are putting together the technical report at the moment.
“The decision [not to play against Real Madrid] is irreversible.
“Last night the storm was very severe, it lifted part of the roof and the firemen could not get in to fix it,” he explained
“The pitch is not match-ready. For us security is the most important, and in these conditions you cannot play tomorrow.
“We have agreed that with the president, the coaches, the firemen and all those involved. Unfortunately it must be postponed to another date.”
An official statement from La Liga reads: “According to the report of the city of Vigo, Balaidos Stadium is not safe for spectators and players to attend the match tomorrow. Having received this information, La Liga and Real Club Celta have transferred this report to the RFEF [Spanish Football Federation].
“La Liga will propose possible dates to play the game in question, taking into account the opinion of the clubs and the television operators, so that the president of the RFEF can decide the new date.”
Madrid are battling against a tight schedule because of their participation in last December’s Club World Cup which they won in Japan against Kashima Antlers at the finals.
Los Blancos are also very angry because Caballero’s statements accused them of questioning local security measures which could have prevented the painful situation.
There are speculations [not from Madrid] that the damaged stadium and a subsequent match cancellation were all calculated moves aimed at avoiding the match against Madrid.
“Real Madrid regrets the unfortunate statements made by the mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, in which he claims that this club disregarded the security measures required for the Celta Vigo v Real Madrid fixture to go ahead,” the first section of their statement read.
“Not only are the mayor’s comments inappropriate, but they are also totally inaccurate because at no point in time did Real Madrid question the security measures in place at Balaidos.
Real Madrid wishes to make it very clear that, having learned of the possibility of the game being postponed more than 30 hours ahead of kick-off, the club proposed three alternatives to the LFP,” the club said.
“Firstly, for consideration to be given to the possibility of repairing the damaged stadium roof.
“Secondly, the possibility of the affected stand being closed.
“Thirdly, if the two aforementioned options were not possible, to look into staging the fixture at another nearby venue.
“These proposals were made with a view to avoiding the postponement of the fixture from negatively impacting upon the four competitions, given the knock-on effect it would cause between them, as well as the massive financial losses suffered by television channels from around the world, which will have an impact on future tenders for the sale of broadcasting rights.”
One of the games Madrid missed against Valencia has been re-arranged for 22 February.
No date has been set so far for their game against Celta Vigo.
The canceled match was a big disappointment for Madrid after media reports confirmed before Sunday that Celta would be resting about nine players who are expected to play important roles in their upcoming Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at Alaves On 8 February.