Honduran stadium closed amid structural worries

The Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa, Honduras has been temporarily closed amid concerns over the structural integrity of its stands.

The move has been made by the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) of the Central American country after a video, which can be seen here, was circulated on social media that appears to show significant movement in the concrete of a stand during a football match.

The Estadio Nacional first opened in 1948 and currently plays host to Club Deportivo Olimpia, Honduras’ most successful club, along with F.C. Motagua and Lobos UPNFM. COPECO decided to close the 34,000-capacity facility after conducting an inspection visit.

The government agency’s commissioner, Gabriel Rubí, has expressed his relief that the issue was detected before an incident occurred. “We must thank God that there has not been a catastrophe that we live to regret,” he said, according to Honduran newspaper El Heraldo.

Rubí stated that a redevelopment of the stadium, at a cost of around HNL200m (£6.1m/€7.3m/$8.1m), has been discussed.

“There is a previous evaluation that was made a few months ago of a complete restoration that would be over 200 million lempiras, but we feel that it is not what should be done,” he said. “At this moment we are making the decision and taking advantage of the fact that the league is not running and that the national team is not playing.”

Image: Club Deportivo Olimpia