Rayo game postponed after fears over stadium safety

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish league says this weekend’s game between Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao has been postponed over safety concerns at the stadium used by Rayo in Madrid.

The league says the Vallecas Stadium will not be allowed to host matches open to the public until renovation work is finished.

Monday’s decision comes after a meeting involving the league, the newly promoted club and Madrid officials over the community-owned stadium in the Spanish capital.

No new date has been set for the top-tier match that was scheduled for Saturday.

Some fans had complained about safety conditions with local media reports claiming a child fell into an area undergoing renovation on the day of the team’s 4-1 loss to Sevilla in the league’s first round. The reports said the child was not hurt.

Rayo said it was surprised by the league’s decision because authorities had previously given the club the go-ahead to keep using the stadium while renovation was carried out.

The renovation work could hit at least two other home matches — against Alaves on Sept. 22 and Espanyol on Sept. 28.

The league said it will work to find a solution to avoid those matches also being postponed. One of the alternatives could be to play the games in another stadium in Madrid.

Rayo had played five straight years in the first division before being relegated in 2016.

It is the fifth Madrid club in the top flight this season along with Real Madrid, Getafe, Leganes and Atletico Madrid.