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SBD Global/September 25, 2012/International Football

Real Madrid Victim Of 'Sabotage' As Electrical Failure Forces Postponement

Officials stand on the pitch at the Vallecas stadium during an electrical outage Sunday.
La Liga Rayo Vallecano President Raúl Martín Presa called the lighting sabotage at the Vallecas stadium, which caused the postponement of Sunday's match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano, as "football terrorism," according to AS. Presa said, "Yesterday, we were the victims of sabotage, an attack, an act of football terrorism, which prevented ordinary people from going to watch a spectacle. I want to thank all Rayo supporters, who showed exemplary behavior, and I would like to express my sincere apologies for this distressing incident" (AS, 9/24). In Madrid, MARCA reported that Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) VP Javier Tebas made it clear Rayo Vallecano was not at fault for the incident. Tebas: "You cannot blame La Liga or Rayo for the results of an act of sabotage" (MARCA, 9/24).

RESHUFFLING THE SCHEDULE: Also in Madrid, AS reported that the match was rescheduled for Monday at 7:45pm. Fans who had tickets for Sunday's game were able to use them, and those who could not attend the game "will be able to return their tickets starting Tuesday" (AS, 9/24). MARCA's Alvaro Olmedo reported that the club tested the lights at 3pm local time and "everything went well." The match began at 7:45pm local time (MARCA, 9/24). REUTERS reported that several commentators said that the "farcical scene of a handful of workmen trying to fix severed cables on the roof of Rayo's ground as groups of officials waited below in the semi-darkness on Sunday made the Spanish league look like a 'banana republic."' With the league's image already damaged by the financial struggles of many if its clubs, half empty arenas and discontent over ticket prices and kickoff times, "the incident could hardly have come at a worse time" (REUTERS, 9/24).
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