Atletico Madrid's game against Athletic Bilbao postponed due to snowstorm

(Reuters) - Atletico Madrid's La Liga game against Athletic Bilbao, scheduled to kick off at 1515 GMT on Saturday, has been postponed due to disruptions from a rare snowstorm in Spain, the league said in a statement.

Troops were deployed to rescue trapped drivers from their vehicles as heavy snowfall from Storm Filomena caused travel chaos across Spain.

La Liga said it sought the postponement "given the exceptional situation caused by the storm across a large part of the peninsula ... and the impossibility of having the pitch in optimal conditions."

The conditions prevented Athletic from traveling to Madrid and the plane carrying the squad was forced to turn back around after it was unable to land at Madrid's Barajas Airport.

"Athletic Club would like to thank Atletico Madrid for their collaboration and willingness to find solutions during this difficult situation," Athletic said in a statement.

Atletico are top of La Liga with 38 points from 15 games, while Athletic are ninth on 21 points from 18 games.

A new date for the match would be confirmed later, La Liga said.

Real Madrid's match against Osasuna later on Saturday was also under threat after the La Liga champions were trapped on a plane for more than two hours on Friday due to ice on the runway at Barajas airport but Spanish media reported the game is likely to go ahead.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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