Northern Ireland

Windsor Park: Report calls for damaged stand to be demolished

Windsor Park building work
Image caption It is not known if the building work is directly related to the problems with the stand

The Irish Football Association (IFA) has been advised to demolish the damaged west stand at Windsor Park, the BBC understands.

Cracks in its structure were spotted in March and the area was sealed off.

The IFA has confirmed to the BBC that it received a preliminary engineer's report into the damage and is studying the findings.

The venue is scheduled to host the Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on 13 June.

Kevin McShane of the Institute of Civil Engineers told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme that it was a surprise "nothing more serious" had happened because the foundations had moved.

'Only focus'

"We can see at the base of the columns that the wall and the beams have moved," he said.

"That's caused stress throughout the structure, given the shape of the structure it's very top heavy, it's leaning on one side towards the pitch.

"So if there's some problems with the foundation, the natural reaction of the whole structure is to try to topple over onto the pitch."

On Wednesday, the IFA's chief executive Patrick Nelson said staging the international at Windsor Park remained its "only focus".

He said an alternative venue for the qualifier, such as the Kingspan Stadium, had not yet been considered.

It is believed that at least two independent reports are being carried out on the damaged stand, with cracks first spotted on 31 March, two days after Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Finland.

Linfield are unable to use their home venue and the Irish Cup final on 2 May, which was scheduled to be played at Windsor Park, has been switched to the Oval.

Related Topics

More on this story