EURO 2016: Irish FA president Jim Shaw voices delight as Windsor Park is passed fit to host Romania clash

Irish FA president Jim Shaw
Irish FA president Jim Shaw

Irish FA president Jim Shaw admits he was always quietly confident Windsor Park would be passed fit to host Saturday’s Euro qualifier with Romania.

Belfast City Council health and safety officials have given the green light for the game to be held at the south Belfast stadium.

The West Stand had to be demolished

The West Stand had to be demolished

Work has continued around the clock to ensure Windsor can safely accommodate 10,000 fans for the crucial Group F showdown with Romania.

The West Stand had to be demolished after cracks were discovered shortly after Northern Ireland’s game with Finland back in March.

Work has been accelerated on the new East Stand and South East Quadrant, and now it is all systems go for Saturday’s crunch game.

“It was certainly a race against time, but I was always confident we would have Windsor ready,” IFA chief Shaw said.

“We have continuously been in touch with health and safety officials and they have been satisfied with the work as we proceeded. So there were never any alarm bells.

“A lot of hard work went into getting Windsor ready. It has only been about 10 weeks since the structural damage was discovered in the West Stand. We then needed to demolish that stand and get other parts of the stadium ready.

“Getting a capacity of 10,000 for June 13 was a major undertaking, but credit to everyone involved for achieving that objective.”

Shaw admits it was vital to get Windsor Park ready for Saturday’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania.

“It was imperative that we got Windsor Park ready for the Romania game,” he added.

“It is a massive game, and the last thing we wanted to do was take the team away from its home.

“We have managed to ensure that 10,000 fans will get to watch the game. It will be different without the West Stand there, but the atmosphere will still be electric.”