Tuesday 24 April 2018

IFA awaits report on stadium damage

Windsor Park is being redeveloped but cracks in the stadium's structure have been discovered
Windsor Park is being redeveloped but cracks in the stadium's structure have been discovered

The Irish Football Association is hoping that structural damage at its Windsor Park home in Belfast will not jeopardise the staging of the team's crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania in June.

Cracks in the structure of the West Stand were spotted on Tuesday morning and the area was sealed off as structural engineers carried out an assessment of the damage.

"The Irish FA became aware on Tuesday morning of some damage having been caused overnight to the West Stand of the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park," an IFA spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The association is currently awaiting a report from the structural engineers."

Northern Ireland played at Windsor Park on Sunday evening, beating Finland 2-1 in Euro 2016 qualifying to stay second in Group F.

The next qualifier for Michael O'Neill's side is against pool leaders Romania on June 13, although club matches are scheduled to be played at Windsor Park before then.

Linfield and Crusaders are due to play there in the Irish Premiership on Saturday and the Irish Cup final between Glentoran and Portadown is planned for May 2.

Windsor Park is currently undergoing major redevelopment and only the West and North stands, which hold around 4,000 and 6,000 spectators respectively, currently remain with the East and South stands demolished.

The project, due to be completed in October in 2015, will increase the capacity of a ground first opened in 1905 from 14,000 to 18,000.

More than 10,000 fans saw the Finland game and the IFA said the stadium was assessed as safe before the match kicked off.

Press Association

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