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Real’s Club World Cup match moved due to waterlogged pitch

Gareth-Bale-Champions-LeagueReal Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final clash with Cruz Azul has been moved to Marrakech due to a waterlogged pitch in Rabat.

The Mexican side reached the competition’s final four courtesy of a 3-1 extra-time victory over Western Sydney Wanderers in torrential conditions in Rabat on Saturday.

Iacopo La Rocca looked to have put the A-League side through, but Matthew Spiranovic’s sending-off left them short and Gerardo Torrado’s 89th-minute penalty took the contest to extra-time.

Spiranovic’s defensive partner Nikolai Topor-Stanley was also dismissed in the additional periods as Mariano Pavone’s strike and another Torrado spot-kick did the damage.

Western Sydney goalkeeper Ante Covic described the decision to play the game in challenging conditions and then referee Noumandiez Desire Doue’s performance as “disgusting” and “farcical”.

European champions Real will not have to deal with the testing conditions, however, with their semi-final moved to the Moroccan capital, where conditions are forecast to be clear in the build-up to the fixture as well as during it.

A FIFA statement read:

“Due to difficult pitch conditions at the Complexe Sportif Prince Moulay Abdellah Rabat, the FIFA Organising Committee has decided after consultation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to play match 4 (Cruz Azul FC v. Real Madrid CF) in Marrakech and not in Rabat as previously scheduled.

“The match will kick-off on Tuesday 16 December at 19:30 local time.

“FIFA and the LOC thank the teams and all stakeholders for their flexibility.

“All ticket holders will be informed about further steps in due course.”