Part of Sudan’s FIFA-funded stadium collapses during renovations

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By Associate Press

Part of a FIFA-funded stadium in South Sudan has collapsed during renovation work.

The world body said on Friday it was in contact with the South Sudan Football Association and seeking further information on a “minor incident” this week at Juba National Stadium in the country’s capital.

“Currently, we understand that there are no casualties or injuries that occurred as a result of the incident,” FIFA said, adding it involved the “setting of concrete.”

The Juba National Stadium is South Sudan’s only international-standard stadium and is being renovated using money from the FIFA Forward Program. FIFA gave $5 million (R77 000 000) for the renovation.

Sudan’s Minister of Youth and Sport Dr. Albino Bol said work has been halted although it might restart in weeks.

The renovation began last year and it is already behind schedule.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino pledged to fund the renovation during a visit to the conflict-torn country in 2016 and was expected to attend its inauguration. The stadium is being converted into a 7,000-seat facility capable of hosting international matches. South Sudan has been playing its home games in neighboring Sudan.

South Sudan is the world’s newest country having gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but it has been blighted by civil war for the last seven years. It joined FIFA in 2012.

Associated Press

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