Red Devils officially homeless as Baudouin Stadium to close

Summary

What was to be the final football match in the King Baudouin Stadium will be moved to another venue as Brussels-City puts a stop to events

Slated for demolition

Preparations are about to begin for the construction of the Neo shopping and business complex at Heizel in Brussels. The groundwork will coincide with work on the new tram line 9, which passes close by the King Baudouin Stadium on the site.

Brussels-City council has decided not to approve the use of the stadium for a World Cup qualifying match between the national side, the Red Devils, and Cyprus due to take place in October. The Royal Belgian Football Union has been advised to look for another venue.

The decision means that the national team is now homeless: the Baudouin Stadium (pictured), once closed, is not expected to re-open and is slated for demolition. In the meantime, a planned new national stadium on the site of Parking C at Heizel is mired in legal challenges and may not meet with Fifa’s deadline of 2020 to be ready for the European Championships.

According to the Football Union, there are various possibilities. It recently had to look for an alternative venue for the match against Andorra because the fixture clashed with the Memorial Van Damme athletics competition traditionally held at the Baudouin Stadium.

The Football Union’s contract for the hire of the stadium runs out in June 2018, and the Cyprus match would in any case have been the last at the venue. Instead, that honour has fallen to the friendly against the Czech Republic that took place on 5 June. The final event scheduled to take place at the stadium is the U2 concert on 1 August.

Photo courtesy Ney & Partners