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UEFA and the GFA are currently in talks to allow international competitive games to be played at a smaller stadium
10.04.15 - 14:02 -
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Group continues fight against new football stadium
Plans for the new stadium at Europa Point, which could be built next to the Rock’s University. :: SUR
. A Gibraltar pressure group has welcomed news that international football games could be played at Victoria Stadium.
Last year the Save Europa Point group (SEP) collected over 7,000 signatures against plans to build an 8,066 capacity stadium on the southernmost tip of the Rock.
Locals were concerned that the five-storey building would spoil the last open space in Gibraltar and create traffic chaos as thousands of fans travelled to and from the stadium.
But this week the SEP said they saw “no reason” why the Gibraltar Football Association and UEFA would not allow games to be played at a smaller stadium.
If talks between the football bodies are successful, the British overseas territory could be allowed to host international games at Victoria Stadium - which has a 5,000 person capacity and artificial turf.
A spokesperson for the SEP, said: “Gibraltar is small, land is at a premium and we as a community must decide carefully what is necessary for our needs.
“SEP welcomes the Gibraltar University at Europa Point because it is reusing and recycling existing empty buildings in a sensitive manner and providing a sustainable new project which has benefits for our entire community.
“The land that has been ear-marked for the stadium should be used in conjunction with the University and for our own grass-roots sports on a daily basis as happens now; there is no need to build a structure on the existing playing fields.
“Last year 7,000 people made their opinions loud and clear - they objected to the location. These objections still stand and the group will continue to fight their campaign to ensure that a football stadium is not built at Europa Point.”
Plans for the Europa Point Stadium were unveiled in April 2014, with the ambitious structure set to be built on a 23,000 square metre piece of land that is currently used as a cricket pitch.
At present, Gibraltar’s football team have been travelling to Faro in Portugal for their home games.
The original plans for the new stadium, which are currently on hold pending the talks with UEFA, included two vertical beams of light on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar.
The structure would have full medical and media facilities, spaces for catering and retail outlets and the GFA offices.
It’s hoped that the stadium would also be used for major events and bringing big music names to Gibraltar.