Warsaw’s PGE Narodowy stadium has been forced to temporarily close after an inspection of its roof revealed a defect on a part of the steel-rope structure.
The stadium had been due to stage Poland’s pre-World Cup friendly match against Chile on Wednesday but it will now be unable to do so. All other events at the stadium have also been suspended.
Specialised tests were carried out on individual elements of the roof as part of a standard inspection carried out last week. The inspection of the steel-rope connectors supporting the spire revealed a structural defect on one of the connectors.
The stadium operator raised the issue with structural designer SBP and contractor Cimolai to determine the cause of the issue. The decision was then taken to temporarily close the stadium while additional tests are carried out and the problem can be addressed.
The Poland-Chile match will now be held at Legia Warsaw’s stadium, which has a capacity of 31,000. All fans who purchased tickets for the game at PGE Narodowy will be entitled to a refund.
In an interview with Interia Sport, PGE Narodowy president Włodzimierz Dola said there would be a risk of a “catastrophe” if the match took place at the stadium. Cameras and monitoring devices have been fitted on the roof to keep tabs on the issue.
A statement from the stadium said: “The operator of PGE Narodowy is in constant contact with the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. At the request of the Minister of Sport and Tourism, the crisis team is currently meeting, which consists of representatives of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Polish Football Association and the PGE National operator.
“At the same time, there are staff at the stadium, whose task is to manage the consequences of detecting a defect, as well as to try to determine the causes and methods of repairing the damaged element as soon as possible. The stadium operator will also commission a number of additional expert opinions covering the condition of all structural parts of the roof.”
PGE Narodowy has a capacity of 58,000 and opened in 2012 ahead of the UEFA European Championship, which Poland co-hosted alongside Ukraine. In October last year, the stadium was rebranded in honour of Polish football legend Kazimierz Górski, who managed the national team during the 1970s.
Górski was named an official patron of PGE Narodowy, which has been sponsored by Polska Grupa Energetyczna since 2015. The official name of the stadium is PGE Narodowy im. Kazimierza Górskiego.