The fire at the small international stadium in Andorra does not delay qualifying for the England World Cup

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England’s World Cup qualifying match against Andorra will take place on Saturday despite a fire in the small stadium in the principality’s capital.

The blaze, which started on a television medium shortly after the England squad’s training session, briefly threatened Saturday’s kick-off.

Shortly after the England team left the 3,300-seat stadium, black smoke filled the air as flames ripped through the structure in Andorra la Vella.

Stadium staff attempted to contain the blaze with sprinklers before firefighters arrived. A witness said welders were working there when the fire broke out.

England are in the Pyrenees to face Andorra, ranked 156th in the world, in the World Cup qualifiers.

The English Football Association was initially unsure whether the fire would impact the game, but the Andorran Football Federation confirmed that the match was unaffected.

“As we all know, there was a small accident and a fire,” said the Andorran spokesman.

“No personal injury has been reported, only property damage and the schedule will continue as planned.

“There was an official statement made by our sports minister and the president of the federation. The match will be played.

The clean-up operation was underway as Andorra trained on Friday night, with cones laid out to show players the area to avoid.

The damaged area was due to be replaced ahead of Saturday’s game as head coach Koldo Alvarez was relaxed about the whole situation.

“I have no idea about the fire, how it started or any information about it,” said the Andorran boss. “It’s the people who take care of it who organize it.

“I think what we have to do is congratulate everyone because there was no personal harm, which is the most important part.

“But I have no doubt that the same way we are going to train, we can play tomorrow.”

Part of the canoe melted and the fourth official shelter was destroyed, as was the video assistant referee’s monitor.

The walls were blackened and there was debris on part of the much-discussed artificial surface.

Updated: October 8, 2021, 19:47


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