La Liga chief defends decision to suspend Celta-Real Madrid game

Madrid, Feb 7: Spanish football league President Javier Tebas on Tuesday defended the decision to suspend Sunday’s match between Celta Vigo and Real Madrid after winds of up to 130 km an hour damaged the roof of Celta’s Balaidos Stadium.

The game was postponed after the Mayor of Vigo Abel Caballero insisted the municipally owned stadium was in no condition to host the game due to the risks to public safety and called off Sunday’s match, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I respect and accept his decision, which comes backed by technical reports. There was a risk for the public and for the players,” Tebas told sports paper Diario AS.

Tebas reminded people that the Celta-Real Madrid game was not the only one to suffer for the weather as the match between Deportivo la Coru and Betis was also postponed after Deportivo’s ground was also damaged by the wind.

“This weekend there was a really bad storm in Galicia and that is the cause of everything,” added the La Liga President, who explained that Madrid’s solution of playing in a different ground was impractical.

“How can you move everything that a game between Celta and Real Madrid suppose in just a day? What happens with security, transport and infrastructure and how do you move 30 or 40,000 people just like that?” he said.

Tebas insisted: “The majority of grounds in Spain are in good condition and some, such as San Mames are among the best in the world… This storm has uprooted trees, blown down walls, lifted off roofs and even damaged high-tension wires. This was a major storm.”

The La Liga president said that it was not impossible to find a date to reschedule the game and commented that “what annoys me is that people take advantage of something like this to criticise our competition, which is magnificent.” IANS