Deadly fire in Spain postpones Valencia-Levante La Liga soccer matches


Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Weekend soccer matches that feature Levante and Valencia have been postponed because of a deadly fire that roared through Valencia, Spain, La Liga announced Friday.

Valencia Mayor Maria Jose Catala initially said that four people died as a result of the fire, which occurred in an apartment block Thursday in Spain's third-largest city. A later report said 10 had died.

On Friday, government officials also declared three days of mourning.

Valencia had been set to play Granada in a road La Liga match Saturday at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes in Grenada. Levante had been scheduled to host Andorra in the Segunda Division -- Spain's second-tier league -- seven hours later at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.

The apartment block is about 2 miles from Levante's home field and about 3 miles from Valencia's Mestalla Stadium.

"The postponement request made by Valencia CF and Levante UD, which had the agreement of the relevant teams -- Granada CF and FC Andorra -- was granted due to the dramatic fire that took place yesterday in Valencia, resulting in the loss of human lives, with three days of mourning already decreed in the city of Valencia," La Liga said.

Levante, which played in La Liga from 2017 through 2021, was relegated to the Segunda division for the 2022-23 season. The team finished third last season and is in 10th place this season. Valencia is the No. 8 team in the La Liga standings.

La Liga said its teams will participate in a minute's silence this weekend. New dates for the postponed matches will be announced later.

Real Sociedad will host Villarreal in the first La Liga game of the weekend. That match will be at 3 p.m. EST Friday in San Sebastian.