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AZ Alkmaar to return home after roof collapse

AZ Alkmaar will return to its AFAS Stadium home ground this weekend some three months after the arena was closed after part of its roof collapsed.

AZ is to face Ajax in the 17,000-capacity venue after it was given clearance by the local authority.

Part of the roof collapsed during a storm on August 10, with repairs taking place in November. An investigation by engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV found that the collapse was caused by carelessly welded connections impacted by strong winds.

Since the roof collapse, AZ has played most of its matches in the ADO Den Haag stadium.

“Getting football back to the city as quickly as possible in a safe stadium was the goal from the start,” Alkmaar officials said in a statement on Tuesday. “The club still has a number of jobs to do, but we are very happy that AZ can play the top match against Ajax in the stadium.”

AFAS Stadium officially opened in August 2006 with a friendly against Arsenal.

Speaking in the aftermath of the incident in August, AZ general manager Robert Eenhoorn said: “This surprised us all. We are very shocked but especially happy that there was no human suffering. In the coming days we will conduct a study with experts in this field. Only when that investigation has been done can we elaborate on the matter. It is much too early for that now.”

The Royal HaskoningDHV investigation is expected to be completed in full in early 2020.

Image: AZ Alkmaar/Twitter