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Bulldozers begin work on Windsor Park's Kop Stand ahead of Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 clash

By Ali Gordon

The demolition of Windsor Park's West Stand is finally underway.

Two weeks ago, a preliminary structural report from engineers advised that the stand should be demolished after cracks were discovered on the Kop Stand shortly after Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 win over Finland in March.

Addressing the committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure at Stormont on Monday, April 20, IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson revealed that plans had been put in place to knock down the Kop as a result of the structural damage that had been identified.

Nelson told the committee that, despite not having the Kop available to use, Northern Ireland's vital Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on June 13 will still take place at Windsor Park in front of 10,000 fans.

Building contractors for Windsor Park, O'Hare and McGovern, have insisted that they will have the stadium ready in time.

Project manager Martin Lennon said: "We have shipped a number of seats which are in transit at the moment and we are air freighting some more seats. All those seats are the permanent seats for the stadium within the East stand (Railway) and South east corner and some of the South Stand. Seats will be installed to ensure patrons will be safe and the ground will be safe for use.

"The East stand holds in the region of just under 3,000 and we have another 1, 000 seats to accommodate around the remainder of the stadium so our intention is to have the permanent seats there and believe that goal can be achieved."

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