Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua’s home game against Shandong Luneng this weekend has been postponed due to ongoing repair work at the club’s Hongkou Stadium, following a fire a the venue last month.
On March 28, state news agency Xinhua released pictures that showed flames poring from one side of the 33,000-capacity stadium.
However, while the Shanghai government confirmed there were no casualties and neither the stand nor pitch had been affected, ESPN said that the fire caused damage to the stadium’s electrical circuit.
Although repair work has been ongoing for a number of weeks, the stadium will not be ready to host the Shenhua-Shandong clash this weekend and the match will now instead take place on September 19.
Shanghai Shenhua is currently fifth in the Chinese Super League, despite star player Carlos Tevez having missed a number of games through injury. Tevez became the world’s highest-paid footballer when he joined Shanghai Shenhua, managed by Gus Poyet, last December on a salary of around $770,000 (£615,000) per week on a two-year contract.
The club finished fourth in the league last season and their squad currently features other big-name players such as ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba and former Inter Milan and Newcastle United forward Obafemi Martins.
According to Forbes, Shenhua are the sixth most valuable football team in China, with a team value of $106m, and an estimated revenue of $29m in 2015.