Atletico Madrid’s LaLiga fixture against Athletic Bilbao has been postponed due to the chaos caused by the snow from Storm Filomena.
The visitors’ journey from the Basque Country to the Spanish capital saw all sorts of problems with their flight turned back after their aircraft was unable to land at Barajas Airport, which was duly closed on Friday night.
The plane landed safely back in Bilbao, but now a statement from LaLiga has confirmed the match will have to be pushed back, with early rumours of a postponement until March.
‘Given the exceptional situation caused by the storm that a large part of the peninsula is experiencing, which has caused the closure of Madrid’s Barajas airport throughout the day and the impossibility of having the field in optimal conditions, LaLiga, after contacting both clubs, has asked the Professional Competition Committee first thing in the morning to suspend the Atletico Madrid-Athletic Club match initially set for today, Saturday at 4:15pm [3:15pm UK time] at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium,’ the statement read.
‘The new date of the match will be announced in the next few days and must be one of the available dates on the competition calendar.
A postponement until Sunday was not considered with Atletico set to face Sevilla on Tuesday, leaving Simeone’s men with a tight turnaround, and any new date is likely to be determined by Bilbao’s progress in the Spanish Super Cup, starting on Thursday when they face Real Madrid on Thursday.
The postponement could leave Diego Simeone’s LaLiga leaders with three games in hand on their rivals, with his side currently setting the pace two points clear at the top of the table having played two fewer games than their city rivals and Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane’s men also suffered from the adverse weather caused by the heavy snowfall across the country.
Los Blancos’s journey to Pamplona to face Osasuna on Saturday should have taken just one hour but players were reportedly trapped in their plane for five hours because the aircraft was unable to take off.
And despite the city’s airport closing, Zidane’s side were allowed to eventually take off and they arrived at midnight, but their journey could yet be in vain with a pitch inspection expected to take place at Osasuna’s El Sadar Stadium.
AS reported earlier this week that as much as 20cm of snow was forecast to hit the region, while the mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, has told residents in the capital not to leave their homes, labelling the situation as of ‘extreme seriousness’
Rayo Vallecano meanwhile, another Madrid-based side, were forced to abandon their journey to Miranda de Ebro for their match against Mirandes.
Their club bus was unable to continue on the roads with no sign of the snowfall relenting on Friday evening, but a video that has since gone viral shows Vallecano’s players on the motorway helping to free cars that had been stuck in the snow.
Real’s players however appeared in a cheerier having taken part in a training session in the snow, unlike Atletico who were unable to train.
Sergio Ramos showed he was a match for the severe weather as he posed for a shirtless picture in the wintry conditions. The defender captioned an Instagram post: ‘I love summer!’
Second division side Albacete have also seen their match against Alcorcon postponed but did their bit to help try and clear their training pitch on Friday.
Players from their side were seen shovelling snow onto the sidelines in a bid to prepare for their match, which could take place as soon as Sunday if conditions improve.
The travel disruption made the front pages of the Spanish newspapers on Saturday with Marca and AS both showing pictures of Real training in the snow.
Marca went with the headline: ‘CHAOS: Poor weather in Madrid plays havoc with the La Liga fixture calendar this weekend.
AS went with: ‘Filomena freezes La Liga – Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid arrive in Pamplona at midnight ahead of their clash with Osasuna after being delayed for hours at Barajas Airport.