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Real Madrid Release Official Statement Rebutting Vigo’s Mayor

Real Madrid were unhappy with the Abel Caballero’s accusations.

Celta Vigo v Real Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter-final: Second Leg Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

The Celta Vigo-Real Madrid match postponement was a rather bizarre turn of events that Real Madrid were clearly not pleased with, leading them to pursue as many avenues as possible to ensure that the match could still be played on the same day. Vigo’s mayor, Abel Caballero, seems to have been miffed by such a suggestion and he had some sharp words for Los Blancos (quotes and additional wording taken verbatim from ESPN):

“Once I had taken the decision at noon on Saturday, the issue was closed," Caballero told AS. "I do not care about all that is said, or who says it. My technical staff decided that there was a risk to the safety of people, and no game. La Liga showed common sense and I want to believe that the Madrid directors did the same.

“I want to believe it, because if anyone wanted to put people's lives in danger it would be completely foolish.”

Asked about the idea that Madrid might have sent experts to quickly fix the damage to the municipally owned stadium roof, Caballero said: "I had not heard that. What a crazy idea!”

“If they had said it to me, I would have laughed openly, and I would not have let anyone climb up, whether they were from Real Madrid or not. No worker could have climbed up.”

“In this country there are rules that must be followed. Some people have to understand that there was a risk to people's lives. This is just football. The game will be played some other day.”

He said a suggestion that Madrid staff had wanted to put pressure on the authorities by telling their fans to travel to Vigo on Sunday was "extremely serious.”

“Someone told me that some Madrid employees had told their fans to go to the stadium, knowing there was no game," he said. "If that happened, it is extremely serious, and a danger to public order and security. I want to believe it was only a rumour, as if it is true then the [government public safety] 'Antiviolencia' committee would have to intervene.”

“I have a good relationship with [Real Madrid president Florentino Perez]. I want to believe that he was not involved in any of this.”

Real Madrid clearly disliked Caballero’s comments and issued an official retort defending their actions:

1. Real Madrid C. F. regrets the unfortunate statements made by the mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, in which he states that this club disregarded the security measures required for the Real Club Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid C.F. fixture to go ahead.

2. Not only are the mayor's comments inappropriate, they are also totally inaccurate, because at no point in time did Real Madrid C. F. question the security measures in place at Balaídos.

3. Real Madrid C. F. 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 Professional Football League: firstly, for consideration to be given to the possibility of repairing the damaged stadium roof; secondly, the possibility of the affected stand being closed; and thirdly, if the two aforementioned options were not possible, to look into staging the fixture at another nearby stadium. 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.

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