The European football governing body, UEFA, has confirmed that Andorra vs England FIFA World Cup qualification match would go ahead despite the fire outbreak at the match venue.
On Friday, October 8, 2021, the principality’s National Stadium in Andorra was gutted by fire, over 24 hours before the kick-off of Andorra vs England match. The World Cup qualification match is scheduled to kick off at 19:45 later today, October 9, 2021.
According to reports, Sky Sports News’ England reporter Rob Dorsett was broadcasting live from the stadium when the fire broke out in the broadcasting gantry of the stadium.
It was reported that the fire broke out from the stadium and “black smoke” from the outbreak extended to residential buildings close to the stadium.
Before the fire outbreak got bad, the stadium employees and Andorra’s fire brigade were able to put out the fire within 20 minutes.
After an assessment of the damages, it was confirmed that the fire destroyed the VAR monitors as well as one of the dugouts and a small section of the 3G pitch.
Hours after the fire outbreak, the Andorra Football Federation confirmed that no one was harmed during the outbreak. The association also confirmed that the fire outbreak would not affect the qualification match.
In the same vein, UEFA delegates confirmed that the fire outbreak would not affect the game which means that the game would go on as planned.
An Andorra Football Federation spokesperson said: “As we all know there has been a small accident and a fire.
“No personal harm has been reported, only material damages, and the schedule will continue as foreseen. No changes there (with) press conference and training.
“There has been an official statement given by our minister of sport and the president of the federation. The match will be played.”
Fire breaks out at stadium hosting Andorra vs England match 🤯🔥pic.twitter.com/czFz1BH5Z4— 𝖥𝖠𝖲𝖳 𝖦𝖮𝖠𝖫𝖲 (@IFAST66) October 8, 2021
At the time of publishing this report, the Andorra football federation has cleared up the burnt side and getting the stadium set for Andorra vs England game.
Meanwhile, Andorra vs England World Cup qualification match will be officiated by women, a development the coach of the Three Lions of England, Gareth Southgate is very happy with.
Female coach Kateryna Monzul will officiate the game alongside Ukrainian assistant referees Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko. The VAR is Stephanie Frappart of France, but the fourth official and assistant VAR are both male – Denys Shurman and Viktor Matyash.
“It’s a very important moment for gender equality, absolutely,” Southgate said.
“For us, though, it’s almost official. It’s the quality of the office that’s important, not the gender.
“We’re looking forward to being part of what is a special occasion.”
🗣 “Very important moment for gender equality.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 8, 2021
Gareth Southgate is asked about England vs Andorra featuring the first all-female refereeing team pic.twitter.com/ReBkT2yuGD