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Portuguese fans evacuated as cracks develop in stand

Estoril Praia’s game against Porto in Portugal’s Primeira Liga was abandoned on Monday night over concerns that a stand was going to collapse.

The match was halted at half time after cracks appeared in the stand occupied by the away fans of Porto at Estoril’s Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota, about 25km outside Lisbon.

When cracks began to develop in the stand, Porto’s 2,500 fans left their seats and went across the pitch to join the home fans in another stand.

This in turn led to fears of overcrowding and the police and safety officials decided to call the game off.

The stadium, which was originally built in 1939, has a capacity of 8,000 and the stand involved in the scare was believed to have been built in 2014.

There was an earthquake on Monday in southern Portugal with minor tremors felt in Lisbon.

A statement on the Estoril website read:

After a meeting between Estoril Praia, FC Porto, Liga Portugal and security forces, it was concluded that it was not safe enough for the game to continue.

The abandonment is linked to the fact that part of the north side of the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota had sustained damage, which caused some alarm.  That led the authorities to safely evacuate the entire stand.

Porto released a statement following the incident, which read:

The match Estoril – FCP, scheduled for this Monday evening, for match day 18 of Liga NOS, has been suspended at half-time, for safety reasons.

No date to resume the match has been set, as the decisions will have to be reached by agreement between both clubs – out of the table is the chance to play it on Tuesday, January 16.