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DRC stadium facing Fifa ban

DR Congo squad
DR Congo are facing a ban at the Martyrs stadium

DR Congo may have to play home World Cup qualifiers away from Kinshasa after being given an ultimatum to fix security infrastructure at the capital's Martyrs stadium.

The Congolese federation have been asked to name an alternate venue because Fifa is not satisfied that changes to improve the safety at the stadium had been implemented.

Fifa twice inspected the giant Chinese-built 80,000 capacity stadium, first at the end of 2006 and again last October.

"During the first visit, a list of requirements related to necessary improvements in infrastructure and security was established and given to the federation," a Fifa spokesman said.

"During the second visit, it was seen that the improvements had not been accomplished in a satisfactory way.

"As an exceptional measure, Fifa indicated to the Congolese federation that we would be willing to have a third inspection visit in early May.

"But that we would request a written guarantee to be sent by 4 April from both the Ministry of Sports and the federation that the works described during the first Fifa inspection visit would be carried out before May."

The Congolese, who qualified for the 1974 World Cup finals when the country was known as Zaire, had promised to make the changes and had been given until Friday to provide such a guarantee, Fifa said.

Visiting teams traditionally find the venue intimidating and the Congolese rarely lose competitive matches at home.

The spokesman said the federation should provide the name of an alternative venue and stadium approved by Fifa.

Fifa have put in place strict security measures for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers with Africa's qualifying campaign starting in June.

Some countries in the Caribbean region have been forced to cede home advantage in their qualifying matches because their home stadiums do not satisfy the new security standards.

Several African countries are also expected to forfeit the right to host World Cup qualifiers because of the poor condition of their stadiums.

Fifa has not given details of other stadiums under threat but Sierra Leone said earlier this week they had received notice of a stadium ban from Fifa.

"All stadiums used for the 2010 World Cup preliminary competition have to comply with minimum security standards, as established by Fifa," the spokesman added.

see also
Fifa bans Sierra Leone stadium
26 Mar 08 |  African
2010 World Cup Qualifiers
27 Mar 08 |  African

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