Soccer-Torrential rain delays Red Star's title hunt

May 14, 2014

By Zoran Milosavljevic

BELGRADE, May 14 (Reuters) - Red Star's quest to win their first Serbian league title since 2007 has been postponed after heavy rainfall prompted the soccer authorities to move Thursday's penultimate round of matches in the 16-team first division to Saturday.

The Balkan country's grey skies have been forecasted to produce a month's rainfall in the next two days and the league's commissioner Vladimir Bulatovic said it would be impossible to play on waterlogged pitches.

"The penultimate round will now be played on Saturday while the final round has been moved to May 21," he told Beta news agency on Wednesday.

"Most pitches are in such a state that they would be treacherous to play on in this weather and we postponed the entire round so that all games kick off simultaneously as originally scheduled," he added.

Former European Cup winners Red Star will win the league if they beat OFK Belgrade at home and their success-hungry fans have reportedly planned mass celebrations in the city centre, including a march to a medieval fortress where they intend to light hundreds of flares.

Weather permitting, Red Star's players are to be treated to an open-top bus parade if they clinch the club's 26th overall title.

Red Star are top with 68 points from 28 games, three more than champions and bitter city foes Partizan who have won the last six titles to match their "eternal" rivals' tally of 25.

Red Star will win the league if Belgrade's big two finish level on points as they have a better head-to-head record against Partizan, the decisive factor if two or more teams are tied. (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)