Second Division: Spanish football returned to Vallecas with more police than fans | LaLiga SmartBank 2019



Three months after the birth due to the coronavirus. a soulless Lightning – Albacete meant the return of the activity. Heartfelt tribute to the victims

 GRAF8786. MADRID.- An amateur takes a photograph

An amateur takes a photograph from the balcony of his home, during the Rayo-Albacete Balompi.
Rodrigo Jimnez EFE

Professional football kicked off Wednesday in Vallecas with a game, the longest in LaLiga history which had started 178 days earlier. A Rayo-Albacete, only 45 minutes long and resolved with a formidable left-handed goal by Luis Advncula, as an appetizer for a very busy schedule. No less than 110 duels in First and 121 ms in Second tightened in five weeks, until July 19. A torrent of football, at first behind closed doors, to return to something similar to normal. [1-0: Narracin y estadsticas]

Although it is hard to believe, it was the third scheduled date in Vallecas, because of the incidents of last December 15 when the songs against Roman Zozulya triggered the first suspension of a match in our professional football. LaLiga had defended that those xenophobic and racist expressions against the Albacete striker could not consent to one of their stadiums. However, Vallecas this time again showed its total rejection against the Ukrainian.

From early in the morning, Pea Bukaneros had tiled the neighborhood with hundreds of stickers: "Zozulya was and still is a fucking Nazi" . And the slogans did not end there. In Arroyo del Olivar street a banner played with the most famous motto of Javier Tebas. "It is not football, it is the League," they warn about this business model with which they do not seem willing to compromise. A more idealistic message was reserved to the side of Avenida de la Albufera: "Your greed has swallowed up all the good that football had. You are killing the only pure thing that was left in this sport."

El Albacete, escorted

Three hours before the initial whistle of the Cantabrian Lpez Toca the fences already delimited the access of traffic on Avenida Payaso Fof. About twenty agents from the Prevention and Reaction Unit (UPR) had escorted Albacete from his concentration hotel, in the vicinity of what remains of Vicente Caldern. At half past six, the two buses from the La Mancha club parked a few meters from the Restaurante La Franja. For the first time in LaLiga history, to meet sanitary requirements, a team had to use two vehicles to reach a stadium.

A little earlier, a handful of onlookers and a whirlwind of journalists were targeting their cameras towards the arrival of the Rayo players, who had to access the facilities in their private vehicles . Among all, they did not exceed the number of National Police officers, strategically distributed, on foot and on horseback, in the four corners of the compound. The goal of avoiding any crowding had been fully met. In fact, the only uncontrolled focus was to be mobilized in the rear, next to the bottom without stands.

The Vallecas stadium, like Ipurua in Eibar or the Ciutat de Valencia, headquarters of Levante, allows some privileged enjoy soccer from the balconies. The most coveted ones are located in Calle Teniente Muoz Daz . From one of those terraces, when five minutes of the game had not yet finished, the Bukaneros fought against the wind to unfold another of their banners: "Without fans there is no football."

This dialectical battle between the Rayo fans and their leaders was waged throughout the week. Ral Martn Presa the owner of the club, had worked closely with Thebes for a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Covid-19. The minute of silence had been between LaLiga and the Federation. Yesterday the floral offering was a tribute to Presa's father, one of the thousands who died of the coronavirus. And in the stands of the Paseo de la Albufera, just where the television broadcast pointed, Presa haba and Tebas had chosen an immense banner. "We will never forget you." To organize everything, they came working or almost against the clock, even at night.

At three points from the promotion posts

Presa, after a few months in unknown whereabouts, occupied her seat again in the box, the most glossy space in a home that threatens ruin. Luis Yez his trusted man in the not-too-distant past, is still on leave due to depression. The institutional reality of Rayo, with a terrible social fracture, can be seen in the rust and the abandonment of a stadium where a misfortune can happen any day.

On a delicious spring afternoon, the team of Paco Jmez forgot his anguish to add a victory that leaves him three points from sixth place, the last one that gives him a place in the promotion playoff. Zozulya started at Albacete, sentenced to play with 10 due to the expulsion of Eddy Silvestre on December 15. As soon as the quarter of an hour was up, Advncula resolved with a tremendous shot to the squad and the visitors, despite the effort of the Ukrainian, were left without answers. "We have not enjoyed it as we would have liked," said Jmez, always out of control at the microphones. "You go out into the field thinking that everything is going to be heard, but then you immediately forget when you get to the bench," he admitted. On the other side, Lucas Alcaraz, who replaced Luis Miguel Ramis, will still have to work with an Albacete who, with the same points as Deportivo, only thinks about avoiding the descent.

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