Public safety comes first
The local press in Galicia has reacted with indignation at how Real Madrid allegedly pressurized Celta to go ahead with this evening’s scheduled Week 21 meeting in Vigo. Three local newspapers – El Faro de Vigo, La Voz de Galicia and La Región labelled Florentino Pérez’s side as being “selfish” and “self absorbed” for wanting to overturn the decision to cancel the match, blasting the capital club's disregard for public safety during a weekend when the north west coast is being battered by severe weather.
In Galicia, commentators says that the only reason that Madrid were extra keen to play the game, and had studied staging the match at other grounds further inland in Santiago, is that Celta coach Eduardo Berizzo was expected to rest many of his first choice stars for Wednesday's crucial Copa del Rey semi-final decider against Alavés.
FARO DE VIGO - "Ridiculous"
"... it is both ridiculous and absurd to suggest that a modest club Celta was, on the one had, organizing a plot to gift the league to Real Madrid, then just a few hours later, hatch a plan in conjunction with the Mayor with the sole intention of harming the interests of Zidane's team.
Celta are the victims of this self-centred navel-gazing - an epidemic which is so out of control that the only cure is to close down certain television channels - stations which make Real Madrid and Barcelona believe that everything that happens on this planet is directly related to them; and that the comportment of the rest of us mortals must always be in accordance with their interests. Who cares what happens to a shower who are incapable of selling their poorly-made shirts on the Chinese market; who cares what they think?".
"The stormy weather has left a man dead in Galicia, it's the lead story on every news bulletin, it has left electricity pylons buckled and bent, gale-force winds have taken the roofs off houses, sank boats moored the harbour... the match was suspended when it was evident that the safety of spectators would be at risk - as well as Cristiano Ronaldo's complexion. But just at that moment the machinery in Madrid started up in an attempt to avoid calling the game off".
"What sad and miserable souls really believe that a game of football, or complying with a fixtures calendar is more important than the lives or the security of the paying public? Real Madrid applied pressure in every channel open to them to ensure this match was played".
"Los Blancos would have preferred to have played tonight, knowing full well that Eduardo Berizzo was going to rotate his team and rest the majority of his first choice players ahead of Wednesday's Cup tie".
LA VOZ DE GALICIA
"The meddling from management delayed the decision for the whole of the afternoon. During that time it became apparent that Real Madrid wanted to play the game at all costs, requesting that the affected zone of the stadium be fenced off or transferring the match to Santiago or Gijón - and maintaining their travel plans right up until the last minute. Alavés joined in, asking for the Copa semi-final to be put back if Celta weren't going to play in Balaídos today. And throughout all of this, it was Madrid's fixture calendar which was deemed to be a priority without taking into account that it is Celta who are still alive in three competitions".
"Celta accepted Abel Caballero's decision to close Balaídos stadium due to the bad weather; Real Madrid demanded that the game be played and Alavés wanted their Copa del Rey tie to be rescheduled so they would have the same amount of time to rest as Celta".
"While Celta and LaLiga remained silent, Real Madrid filtered their discontent with the situation and according to some sources, sought alternative venues or closing the Río stand. These measures were taken as applying pressure because they already have a game rescheduled for their involvement in the Club World Cup, and argued that they didn't have suitable dates to rearrange the game in Vigo, and even mentioned that the final dates of the league competition in May might need to be changed..."