14th January 2021, 15:19
UEFA has approved the GFA's request to play the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifying Home matches at the Victoria Stadium. The conditions imposed are similar to those for the 2020 Euro Qualifiers.
UEFA had previously said it would not allow the use of the Victoria Stadium for its international matches as it fell short of UEFA’s minimum criteria for official international competitions.
The Gibraltar FA says it had been ready to start construction of the new National Stadium late last year, with this delayed due to Covid. This would have meant the stadium would have been unavailable for at least 18-24 months. Because of the delay, the GFA made representatitions to UEFA for the stadium to be used again.
This delay prompted written and oral representations to UEFA in early December last year, asking for further dispensation to allow Victoria Stadium to be used once again.
One of the conditions is that the Victoria Stadium be used for all home matches, meaning the construction of the new stadium can't start before the final scheduled World Cup Qualifying fixture on the 16th November. Therefore the Gibraltar FA is now working towards this date, and will provide more information in the near future.
The other conditions relate to several upgrades which need to be made to the current Victoria Stadium. Works will now start onsite in order to meet UEFA’s conditions with ample time before its first World Cup Qualifying home match in March.
The GFA's General Secretary, Ivan Robba believes this is great news for the Gibraltar FA and for Gibraltar as a whole. We have been working hard with UEFA to get this exemption, as we strongly believe that this was the most sensible way forward given the difficulties that COVID- 19 is causing everywhere. He adds the idea of having to play Home matches in another country was very worrying to them and welcomes that Gibraltar will again play world class international teams in the most prestigious international competitions on home soil.
Gibraltar kicks off its World Cup home qualifiers on the 24th March with a match against Norway. All the GFA hopes for now is that, by then, they will be able to allow spectators.
The full fixture list can be found on the following link: