Northern Ireland

Windsor Park: No report yet for IFA on damaged West Stand as cracks appear to widen

A comparison of the cracks in the damaged West Stand at Windsor Park, compared to last week
Image caption An image showing the cracks in the damaged West Stand at Windsor Park on Wednesday, compared to last week

The Irish Football Association (IFA) has still not received a report into the damaged West Stand at Windsor Park.

Cracks were discovered eight days ago, following the Northern Ireland versus Finland match during which 4,000 spectators filled the stand.

Pictures taken on Wednesday suggest the cracks in the stand have widened in the past week.

Experts have been examining it to see whether it can be repaired, or needs to be rebuilt.

An IFA spokesperson said on Wednesday evening: "We're still awaiting the structural engineers' report."

There is no decision on whether Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016-qualifier against Romania will go ahead at Windsor Park on 13 June.

'Highly unlikely'

One idea being explored is to use the existing North Stand at Windsor Park for the game, and, if work can be completed in time, utilise the new stand at the Railway End.

It seems highly unlikely that the West Stand could be used so soon, given the extent of the damage.

It was built less than 20 years ago, but brickwork and steelwork have been damaged.

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Media captionBrickwork and steelwork have been damaged, as Mark Simpson reports

The cause of the problems is not yet known, and whether they relate to ongoing building work at the stadium.

The IFA and the developers have made no comment on the issue, other than to say they are awaiting the engineers' report.

Earlier, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the IFA is intent on honouring its commitment to Northern Ireland fans who have already paid for tickets to see the Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania, despite the structural problems in the West Stand.

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