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File photo of Malaga fans inside La Rosaleda stadium during a game. Ñito Salas
Last-minute kick-off change for Malaga-Mérida football match sparks controversy
Football

Last-minute kick-off change for Malaga-Mérida football match sparks controversy

This Sunday's match at La Rosaleda was due to kick off at 7pm but has been moved to midday with just two days' warning

Borja Gutiérrez

Malaga

Friday, 3 May 2024, 12:56

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The scheduled kick-off time for the Malaga-Mérida match this Sunday (5 May) has been changed just two days before it was set to take place.

The unprecedented announcement came as a surprise to fans on Friday morning, with the club revealing that the match at La Rosaleda stadium, initially planned for 7pm, will now kick off at 12 noon.

The abruptness of the decision has raised eyebrows, particularly due to its timing, prompting complaints from fans on social media. Many had already made plans for Sunday, which also marks Mother's Day in Spain.

According to SUR sources, the club had requested the change on Monday due to "security concerns" over the fixture clash with the Unicaja basketball team's game at the Martín Carpena arena against UCAM Murcia, scheduled for 6.30pm.

However, the football federation only formally approved the request on Friday morning, catching many off guard.

This move aligns with Malaga's consistent efforts to avoid scheduling conflicts with Unicaja games or other major sporting events in the city. Additionally, the club has shown a preference for noon kick-offs, believing it encourages attendance, particularly among young fans, and reduces lighting costs, as the stadium's lights are not energy-efficient.

This last-minute alteration marks the eighth match this season that Malaga will play at noon in La Rosaleda.

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