Valencia CF12 May 2020

Mestalla's longest post-Civil War period of inactivity

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a mid-season absence of football at the ground for the longest period since the Spanish Civil War

As of Tuesday, May 12th, Mestalla has gone 63 days without hosting a football match. The most recent contest there was against Atalanta BC in the UEFA Champions League ON March 10th, before the COVID-19 pandemic required the shutdown of football for over two months and counting.

The crisis will force the second longest spell of inactivity at the ground, overtaking the suspension of football at Mestalla in 1957, when the city of Valencia suffered extensive flooding as the river running through it overflowed.

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The River Turia broke its banks on October 13th of that year, leaving 81 people dead and thousands homeless. Mestalla, close to opening of the old riverbed, would also suffer extensive damage to its electrics, stands, pitch and club offices. It would take several months for the damage to be repaired.

During the over 2 months between October 6th and December 8th, the only event held at the stadium was a meeting to decide upon the measures to resolve the situation. A game against Sporting Gijon was suspended and Valencia CF played 5 consecutive fixtures away from home.

There is a plaque at the ground, in the tunnel, that marks the water level during the flooding 62 years ago.

The only longer spell of mid-season inactivity at Mestalla was during the Spanish Civil War, during which the league would not be played for almost two years.

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