Last weekend I went to the first ever socially distanced football league match here in Mallorca. I was kindly invited by Atlético Baleares to their opening game of the season against Dux Internacional de Madrid. I had actually been to the final home game before Covid hit which was the 8th of March when they lost 0-2 to UD Ibiza.
According to the rules they were allowed 1,000 spectators into the ground, which made me wonder why that was different from La Liga and La Liga 2.
The football league system in Spain consists of several leagues bound together hierarchically by promotion and relegation. The Spanish football federation allows reserve teams to compete in the main league system, as is the case in most of Europe; however reserve teams are not allowed to compete in the same tier as their senior team, and no reserve team has thus competed in the top flight, Primera División.
La Liga is the highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the Liga de Futbol Profesional(LFP).
Segunda División, also called La Liga 2 is the second highest level in the Spanish football league system and is also operated by the LFP.
The Segunda Division B is the third highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), to be replaced by Primera RFEF in 2021.
The Tercera Division is the fourth highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the RFEF and 17 regional federations.
The RFEF created a new division for the 2021–22 season between Segunda División and Segunda División B. Various Spanish media tentatively called this division the Segunda División B Pro. The federation officially named the third tier Primera División RFEF with Segunda B dropping the B from its name and suffixing the federation’s Spanish initials RFEF, becoming Segunda División RFEF and Tercera also adding the initials to its name.
Back to Sunday’s Baleares game, I had to arrive at the ground at 10.30 for a 12 midday kick-off. There was hand gel at the entrance and I had a temperature check before being allowed to enter. The refreshment kiosks were open so a baguette and soft drink were duly ordered. Interestingly they serve actual beer as opposed to the 0% you get at Real Mallorca. I wasn’t tempted at 10.30 in the morning, although I did notice others were.
I was led to the area where I was asked to sit by a steward. You were asked to sit with 2 seats free either side of you and it was one row yes and one row no. Well that was the idea but due to the lack of stewards and the season ticket holders this didn’t properly materialise. Basically everybody wanted to sit in the seat they’ve sat in for years but this just wasn’t possible. You’d think that after 7 months of no football they’d be happy to sit anywhere and watch a game. Think again!
I’m very impressed in the ground improvements. There are now temporary stands at either end and there are plans to build another stand on the open end opposite the main stand. The current capacity is 4,217.
It was good to see Juan Carlos make his debut for the club. He’s from Calvia and played for the village team where my two boys started playing. We saw him play for Villareal in the play-offs a few years ago.
He didn’t really have much to do as it was fairly one way traffic and made even easier when they had a player sent-off in the first half. It wasn’t a dirty game and I was going to praise the referee for his handling of the game, something you don’t often do over here especially in Segunda B! But in the end he sent-off one from each side and he only gave one other yellow card.
Baleares ran out 4-0 winners with goals from, Haro, Pichín, Fito and Vinicius.
It was great to return to live football and I felt very relaxed in the surroundings.
Other results in Segunda B were;
Atlético de Madrid B 1 UD Poblense 0
Levante B 0 UD Ibiza 1
Peña Deportiva 1 Villareal B 0
Real Mallorca drew 0-0 away against Mirandes in another dour game with few chances last weekend. I know I’m like a broken record but still the strikers haven’t scored in 6 games but on the other side they’ve only conceded 1. They lie in 7th place before tonight’s game against Albacete, 5 points behind the leaders Espanyol. Their next game will be next Monday away against Alcorcon.
Apart from watching Atletico Baleares last weekend I was delighted to watch one of my sons finally play a game last weekend. It’s been 7 long months and I have to be honest I struggled to sleep Friday night. Although it was 0-0 it was a pretty good game with both teams understandably very rusty. There’s a bit of a row brewing at the club as parents are not being allowed into the ground to watch training or games. Every other team as far as I am aware are allowing it, so it’s a bit of a strange position for the club to take. The papers and IB3 Tv have covered the story this week and I know a lot of the parents aren’t happy. I will keep you updated.
Fixtures this week;
Valencia Mestalla v Pena Deportiva 12 midday Sunday
UD Ibiza v CF La Nucia 12 midday Sunday
Rayo Majahonda v Atlético Baleares 12 midday Sunday
UD Poblense v UD San Sebastián 12 midday Sunday
Alcorcón v Real Mallorca 18.00 Monday
Episode 13 of A Kick in The Balearics is out tomorrow on you tube and on podcast on too. We have launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media.
Take care everyone, I’m back at the weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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