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Sevilla vs. Leganes kickoff time changed by La Liga due to hot weather

Sevilla welcome Leganes to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Saturday.

La Liga has decided to change the kickoff time for Sevilla's home game against Leganes on Saturday because of the hot weather forecast.

The game was scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. CEST at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium but will now begin at 10:30 p.m. CEST.

A La Liga statement read: "With a prediction of high temperature and solar radiation, the starting time for the Sevilla FC vs. Leganes of the 10th round [of La Liga] has been altered [10:30 p.m.]."

Spain's meteorological agency has predicted that temperatures in Seville on Saturday afternoon will rise to a high of 30°C (86°F), while the risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure will be "moderate" with an ultraviolet radiation index reading expected to be 4.

Sevilla FC are satisfied with La Liga's decision.

"This change is down to the work we've been doing for the last 120 days with La Liga so that they are understanding," Sevilla president Jose Castro told the club's website. "La Liga have accepted our petition. To play at 10:30 p.m., it's a magnificent time for all the Sevilla FC fans to be supporting, suffering and enjoying with our team in order to achieve a victory against Leganes."

Castro had issued a formal complaint to La Liga on Oct. 5 and urged the body to consider "the weather predictions in Seville during the summer months, early autumn and spring when fixing their game times."

Up to now, La Liga had only altered kickoff times due to hot weather if predicted temperatures surpassed 35°C (95°F).

However, Sevilla have argued that La Liga has to take into account that those temperatures are taken in the shade and not in the sun and that the stands are made of concrete.

Sevilla played their previous home league games against Eibar on Sept. 9 and Malaga on Sept. 30 in the early afternoon despite predicted high temperatures in the city.

During their 2-0 win over Malaga, 21 fans at Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium needed medical attention during the encounter after suffering from heatstroke.

Against Malaga, fans had to put up with temperatures that surpassed 32°C (89.6°F) and Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo was angry after the game.

He said: "The fans that came because their passion moves them had to sit in an oven for three hours. I don't think one needs to be very intelligent to know that in Seville at 4 p.m. it's hot and that these game can be played at 8 or 10 p.m."

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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