SPAL of Italian football’s Serie A has suspended sales of season tickets after large sections of the Ferrara-based club’s Stadio Paolo Mazzo home were closed off by inspectors.

SPAL, which finished 13th in Serie A last season, now faces the prospect of playing ‘home’ matches at a different stadium or continuing to host games at the Stadio Paolo Mazzo with a reduced capacity for the upcoming campaign.

According to Fox Sports Italia, irregularities were uncovered in relation to construction work to expand the stadium to a capacity of 16,000 last year. It has been claimed that the newly-revamped north and east stands, which have been seized by the authorities following a court order, would not meet Serie A safety standards.

Fears were first raised by one of the project’s subcontractors, who stated earlier this year in a letter to the club, as well as the local authority and the Italian Olympic Committee, that “severe” issues in relation to the construction process would “expose spectators to real and existing dangers”.

Eight people have been investigated in relation to the issue. Some of the individuals worked on the project, while it is claimed that others were involved in the initial safety checks. A total of 60 people have been questioned so far, reports have said.

The club has not elaborated on its immediate plans for relaunching ticket sales and only said that any changes of “dates and places” would be communicated at a later stage.

The club added that, in relation to the seizure of the north and east stands, “the Municipal Administration of Ferrara and SPAL, as injured parties, hope that the checks aimed at clarifying the situation will be carried out as quickly as possible”.

Image credit: Lungoleno