England game to go ahead after fire breaks out at Andorra stadium

By PA Media and Guardian sport

Andorra have said their World Cup qualifier at home to England will go ahead as scheduled after a fire at the Estadi Nacional. The television gantry at the side of the 3,300-seat stadium was engulfed in flames on Friday afternoon, three hours after England had trained there.

Sprinklers were used to try to get the blaze under control before firefighters arrived and put out the flames. Photographs showed black marks left on the artificial pitch and beside the dugouts, and the smell from the fire reached the England team hotel.

A spokesperson for the Andorran football association said the match would proceed at 7.45pm BST on Saturday. “No personal harm has been reported, only material damage,” the spokesperson said. “The schedule will continue as planned and the match will go ahead.”

Police were in attendance along with Uefa and Andorran FA staff when the fire broke out. One onlooker told the PA news agency that welders were working there before the blaze.

Marks on and beside the pitch in Andorra after the fire
Marks on and beside the pitch in Andorra after the fire. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

A dugout has melted and the video assistant referee’s monitor was burned, with the walls blackened by the fire. There was debris on a part of the pitch and widespread damage to the touchline.

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.