GIBRALTAR is set to get a UEFA category 4 football stadium at the Victoria Stadium site.
An ‘unprecedented’ £31.5 million investment will ‘solve all football and other sport infrastructure problems for generations to come’, said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
It is the largest investment in sport in the history of Gibraltar, Picardo announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
It is envisaged that the new stadium will have an 8,000 capacity, with the government selling the Victoria Stadium site to the GFA in three installments for £16.5 million.
The funds, which have been provided by UEFA and FIFA, will be invested into providing sports facilities presently played at Victoria Stadium.
A further investment of £15 million will be made available from the GFA to redevelop Victoria Stadium.
It is hoped the entire project will be completed in time for the Island Games in 2019.
Two new multi-sports facilities will also be built at Lathbury and Europa Point with two smaller stadiums for football, cricket, rugby and other sports.
The move means the Gibraltar national football team would be able to play its UEFA European home games on the Rock from next summer.
A new competition, the UEFA Nations League, will also take place from September 2018.
Club sides will be able to play Champions League and Europa League qualifying ties at the new stadium.
GFA General Secretary Dennis Beiso said: “Football will finally come home, and there will be no repeat of the current situation where our club and national teams are not allowed to play at their home stadium.”
The GFA now has exclusive ownership of the stadium, with the new stadium and sports hall to also be used additionally for ‘a number of community events’.
Gibraltar football teams will no longer need to train in Spain one the new sites are developed.
The plans for the sporting infrastructure will go be subject to planning permission.
“This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, Picardo continued.
More to follow….