World Cup stadiums not safe: Stiftung Warentest

6th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 January 2006, BERLIN - The stadiums used for the 2006 World Cup in Germany are not fully safe and there are even some "considerable" safety deficits, a consumer group said on Friday.

6 January 2006

BERLIN - The stadiums used for the 2006 World Cup in Germany are not fully safe and there are even some "considerable" safety deficits, a consumer group said on Friday.

Stiftung Warentest, a foundation which test products, said an inspection of the 12 arenas revealed that a mass panic in a full stadium could for instance have a "devastating effect" and that there were deficits as well in the area of fire protection.

Further details on Stiftung Warentest's inspection are to be released at a news conference on January 19.

The organising committee said it believes the criticism mainly concerns emergency lanes and exits, but could not say anything more because it had not received the Stiftung Warentest report.

"I was informed up to now that there were no major problems. I know that an inspection has taken place, but nothing beyond that. If there are problems it would only be fair to allow us to comment on it," said organising committee vice-president Horst R. Schmidt.

In recent months the roof constructions of the stadiums in Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern made negative headlines.

The Frankfurt roof failed to close twice, leading to cascades of rain onto the pitch during the Confederations Cup final and a Bundesliga match. The Kaiserslautern stadium was even closed for safety reasons in December because parts of the roof came down.

In addition, statics problems were recorded in the Nuremberg stadium.

The three incidents prompted world football supremo Joseph Blatter to tell the organising committee that all stadiums needed to be thoroughly inspected again and that FIFA will monitor the situation very closely.

Stadium managers remained calm on Friday, with Hamburg's Kurt Kraegel insisting that "top security not only applies at the World Cup but every fortnight in the Bundesliga as well" were even more fans were allowed into the stadiums.

DPA

Subject: German news

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