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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 17:52 GMT
Warning over Windsor Park
Windsor Park
Windsor Park needs to be upgarded for international football

A former Northern Ireland sports minister has said urgent Government action is needed to make sure the province's World Cup qualifiers go ahead in Belfast.

Michael McGimpsey called for public money to help Windsor Park meet the required standards for international football.

"In light of Uefa's recent concerns about facilities at the stadium, the Government should be looking at ways of assisting the ground's owners, Linfield Football Club," said McGimpsey.

"The World Cup draw, which would see sell-out crowds for the games against England and Wales, cannot be put at risk because the venue is not up to standard.

"By the IFA's own admission, if facilities at Windsor Park are not improved there is a very real possibility of matches being taken out of the Province.

"That would be nothing short of disastrous for the Northern Ireland football public wanting to watch games and the loyal fans who have supported the team through recent difficult times.

"Some money could be forthcoming from the 8m allocated by the Government to local football but which has not yet been distributed."

Michael McGimpsey
"We have the exciting prospect of England coming to Belfast"

Windsor fails Uefa test
23 Nov 03  |  Northern Ireland

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