Atalanta v Villarreal postponed due to heavy snowfall
Bergamo (Italy) (AFP) – Atalanta's Champions League showdown with Villarreal has been postponed until Thursday due to heavy snowfall in Bergamo, the Italian club confirmed on Wednesday.
"#AtalantaVillarreal has been postponed due to the heavy snowfall. The match will be played tomorrow with kick-off time still to be determined by UEFA," Atalanta said on Twitter.
According to reports in Italy, UEFA are likely to reschedule the match for an afternoon kick-off on Thursday.
A cold snap has swept across northern Italy, and ground staff at Atalanta's Gewiss Stadium were sweeping snow off the pitch in an attempt to make it playable.
However the icy conditions continued and the snow kept piling up on the pitch even as it was being pushed to the sidelines.
"Due to adverse weather conditions, the referee, in conjunction with the UEFA delegate and the teams, has decided to postpone the match between Atalanta and Villarreal in Bergamo," European football's governing body said in a statement.
"An announcement will be made in due course about the re-arranged date and time for this match to be played."
Atalanta sit third in Group F and must win the match in order to qualify for the last 16, while Villarreal only need to not lose to maintain qualification in second place behind Manchester United.
UEFA's decision was met with loud whistles from Atalanta fans in the stands and a flare being thrown on the pitch, while Villarreal's players applauded the small group of Spanish supporters shivering in the roofless away end.
© 2021 AFP