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El Salvador set to receive China-backed national stadium

China is set to continue its ‘stadium diplomacy’ strategy by helping to develop a new national stadium for El Salvador.

The news was announced by the Central American country’s President, Nayib Bukele, who stated that the Chinese Government’s backing of the project comes as a result of a tour of Asia he conducted in late 2019 seeking out fresh investment for El Salvador.

Bukele said the new state-of-the-art stadium will be built in the municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán on land currently occupied by the Capitán General Gerardo Barrios military school.

This facility has been in place for three decades, but will now be relocated. Bukele said the new military school will have double the space and better facilities, adding that when it was originally built it lacked a commercial area.

“El Salvador’s National Stadium will have a real capacity for 50,000 fans, all in seats,” said Bukele.

The new stadium will replace Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador. The facility opened in July 1976, but is now limited to a capacity of 34,000 due to regulations from world football’s governing body, FIFA.

Bukele has said construction of the new stadium will begin this year, with the wider partnership with the Chinese Government set to extend to the development of a new national library, envisioned as one of the best in Latin America, along with other projects.

Image: Nayib Bukele