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Eibar-Real Sociedad postponed because of toxic chemical compounds in the air

A landfill fire near Eibar has resulted in “high levels of chemical compounds”, causing Sunday’s clash to be called off

Eibar‘s La Liga game against Real Sociedad on Sunday has been postponed due to air contamination.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation’s competition committee made the decision to call off the fixture due to a landfill fire near Eibar, while all matches in the nearby towns of Ermua and Zaldibar have also been called off.

A letter from the Basque government’s deputy minister for health warned against sports activities being performed due to “high levels of chemical compounds detected in the air”.

The health authorities have also warned citizens of the three towns not to leave their windows open, while a nearby motorway was temporarily closed.

The landfill, just over a kilometre away from Eibar’s Ipurua Stadium, collapsed on February 6, trapping two workers who have not yet been found despite an ongoing search. Some of the fires in the waste have still not been extinguished.

Measurements taken this week showed that the levels of dioxins and furans – highly contaminating toxic chemicals that are released into the air when plastic and other materials burn – were 40 times the normal level for urban areas.

Dioxins and furans are known to have a serious effect on human health, causing problems with development and reproduction and weakening the immune system. They can also lead to cancer.

A statement released by La Liga on Saturday afternoon read: “In contact with La Liga, the RFEF and the clubs involved, the Competition Committee, and on the recommendation of the Basque Government, has decided to suspend the Eibar-Real Sociedad match that was going to take place [Sunday] February 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the Ipurua stadium.”          

The teams have until 2pm on Tuesday to agree a new date, though reports in Spain say the two sides are considering rescheduling the match for Monday if conditions improve.

Eibar are currently 16th in La Liga, four points clear of the relegation zone, and have not won in their last three matches.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad, who beat Athletic Club 2-1 last Sunday, sit seventh and just one point behind Valencia, who occupy the last Europa League qualification spot.

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