The Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF) has given up on its ambition to play in its new national stadium this year, stating that COVID-19 means it will be 2021 before games are staged at the venue.
The FLF had hoped to play UEFA Nations League matches at the stadium (pictured earlier this month) from October, but is now planning for these matches to be held at the existing Stade Josy Barthel.
The latest news comes after it was revealed in July that the construction project in the town of Kockelscheuer would cost 30% more than originally expected. At the time, the venue was expected to open next month after the original deadline of October 2019 was postponed.
It was originally given a budget of €60m (£52.3m/$65.2m). However, the local authority cited errors in relation to the “calculation of the design offices”, as well as additional facilities requested by the police, football’s European governing body UEFA and the FLF for the price tag rising to €78m.
The stadium, which will have a capacity of 9,385 for sports matches and up to 15,000 for concerts, will offer 5G connectivity. However, it will now be delayed yet again.
FLF secretary general Joël Wolff told local newspaper L’essentiel: “There is nothing official but it is a simple matter of calculation. The stadium was to be delivered by September/October. The work is stopped and should be at least two months late. This brings us to the end of November, or the beginning of December. So there will be no more matches (this year).”
Wolff added: “At this stage we already have no guarantee that a match can be played with spectators by the end of the year. If we listen to the experts, many believe that no mass event should be organised before 2021.”
With this in mind, the FLF is now said to be targeting Luxembourg’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches for the first major events at the new stadium. These are set to commence in March 2021.