Andorra vs England: UEFA confirms Saturday’s game will take place despite fire inside national stadium | Football news
England’s World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Saturday will go ahead as planned despite a spectacular fire at the principality’s national stadium on Friday, UEFA confirmed.
Sky Sports News ” English journalist Rob Dorsett was broadcasting live when the fire broke out in the television portico across the pitch.
A thick plume of black smoke drifted towards neighboring apartments and accommodations behind the grandstand as the stadium’s first workers and then firefighters scrambled to extinguish the blaze.
When the smoke cleared, it was evident that damage had been done to the gantry and VAR monitors as well as to one of the shelters and a small section of the 3G field.
Although there was initial doubt that the match would be allowed, the Andorran Football Federation said the match would not be affected and this position was confirmed by UEFA on Friday evening.
Replacement VAR equipment is already on site in Andorra la Vella and a structural engineer goes to the Principality to assess the condition of the diffusion portico.
Officials are confident that there are other areas within the field with a capacity of 3,300 capacity suitable for cameras if the main gantry cannot be used.
The Andorran players used the majority of the pitch for their own training session, which took place hours after the blaze shocked those present.
The clean-up was underway while Andorra trained and the small section of the damaged pitch will be replaced before the kick-off on Saturday at 7.45pm.
England had trained in the morning and the blaze occurred just after Gareth Southgate and Saturday captain Kieran Trippier spoke to the media.
A spokesperson for the Andorran Football Federation said: “As we all know there was a small accident and a fire.
“No personal injury has been reported, only property damage and the schedule will continue as planned. No changes there (with) press conference and training.
“There was an official statement made by our sports minister and the president of the federation. The match will be played.”