The Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) has released plans for a new national stadium at Europa Point, the southernmost point of the territory and an iconic location with views across to Africa.
The new ground – provisionally called the Europa Stadium – will be a Category 4 stadium, finally allowing UEFA's newest member to host European Qualifiers on the Rock instead of over 150 miles away in Portugal. Gibraltar's current main venue, the Victoria Stadium, is unsuitable for competitive international football since it does not meet the required Category 4 criteria.
UEFA is, of course, in the process of working with all its 54 member countries to upgrade stadium facilities throughout the continent, particularly in those smaller national associations where, with the new media centralisation arrangements as part of the European Qualifiers, some existing Category 2 and Category 3 stadiums no longer fit requirements. The Andorran Football Federation (FAF), for example, is in the process of constructing a new national stadium with greater capacity and with upgraded facilities, which will enable it to stage matches in the European Qualifiers and beyond.
Gibraltar is building for the future and with the long term in mind. The Category 4 Europa Stadium will ensure that Gibraltar meets stadium requirements for generations to come. UEFA fully supports the GFA in this exciting endeavour and has already sent technical experts to Gibraltar on several occasions to assist in a wide range of decisions – from the site location, to technical help on the design and financial backing via the HatTrick programme. The location in particular was selected because of its iconic situation and because it is currently the only site in Gibraltar with the space and accessibility for a project of this nature.
The architect behind the project is Mark Fenwick, one of Europe's top stadium designers and co-author of the UEFA Guide to Quality Stadiums, which has now been published in five different languages and is the seminal guide to the design and construction of football arenas. The GFA expects the new ground to be ready in the autumn of 2016.
UEFA wishes the GFA and Gibraltar every success in this enterprise and will continue to provide constant help and support. Our 54th member will soon have a stunning new home!
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