Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville complain to IFA about health and safety at Windsor Park 'building site'

By Conor McLaughlin

Cliftonville will this week make an official complaint to the Irish Football Association regarding health and safety conditions at Windsor Park.

The north Belfast club, who claimed a 2-1 victory over Linfield at the national stadium on Saturday, yesterday issued a statement outlining their intention to follow up on their supporters' grievances with the amenities on offer at the redeveloped venue.

Despite staging Northern Ireland's friendly defeat of Latvia on Friday evening, Reds chairman Gerard Lawlor contends that Windsor does not have the appropriate facilities to host Danske Bank Premiership football.

"We have a duty to look after our fans and respond to their concerns," said Lawlor.

"Many of them were appalled with having to walk through what was essentially a building site, with all sorts of mud, puddles and loose masonry along the route.

"We can't blame anyone for the heavy rain, but it was pretty treacherous underfoot in certain areas and we'll be raising the issue with the authorities.

"This is by no means a dig at Linfield because we understand the ground is being rebuilt, but basic NI Football League domestic licencing requirements, such as the use of turnstiles, were simply not met. I can't believe that stadium was fit to host an international football match the night before."

One supporter suffered a suspected broken leg after a fall on a muddy walkway, with Cliftonville's statement expressing dissatisfaction that "entrance and exit routes provided for our fans fell quite some distance below the standards expected".

There had been speculation that a lack of hot shower water, caused by a fractured gas pipe, would force the fixture's postponement but a Linfield spokesman insisted: "There was never any threat of the game being called off. There was a temporary provision made to use the facilities at Olympia Leisure Centre if the problem couldn't be sorted."

Belfast Telegraph


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