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Greenkeeper King Baudouin Stadium 'surprised' by rain: 'Pure amateurism', says Vandenbempt |  Red Devils

Greenkeeper King Baudouin Stadium ‘surprised’ by rain: ‘Pure amateurism’, says Vandenbempt | Red Devils

With a simple tarp protecting the field, the King Baudouin Stadium would have been ready for the Red Devils to play. But the city of Brussels, which is responsible for the national stadium, does not own it. “Disappointment and shame,” says football analyst Peter Vandenemppt.

“It was a bad day for us yesterday.” Pierre Clam, Director of Sports at the City of Brussels, had an eventful day.

His service in charge of the King Baudouin stadium failed to prepare it for the Red Devils’ friendly match against Serbia.

How could he get to this point? “We were surprised,” Kalam repeated five times. “The weather conditions were harsh. Up to 50 liters per square meter fell, which is unprecedented.”

“Suddenly there was a lot of water on the field and it was no longer seeping into the soil. There was nothing we could do about it. On Saturday there was already a match at King Baudouin Stadium (RSCA Futures against Deinze, ed.) and then we did not notice any problems “

However, there was a simple solution: pre-cover the field with a tarp. Why didn’t that happen? “We don’t have our own sail,” Kalam explains. “We are borrowing the sail from Anderlecht for Sunday’s match against Azerbaijan.”

It is a disappointment and a shame for the city of Brussels.

Peter Vandenemppt

The city of Brussels now plans to purchase a sail itself. Improvements are also planned for the sewer system, which is 15 years old. But it feels like mustard after a meal.

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Football analyst Peter Vandenemppt also talks about “pure amateurism”. “Surprised? That’s a false argument,” he says. “Heavy rain was expected everywhere. There is severe flooding in West Flanders, but there was a football match in Bruges last weekend.”

“If heavy rains are forecast and you know your septic system is old, you need to be proactive.”

“It is a disappointment and a shame for the city of Brussels. If you ask the Belgian Football Association for more than 150,000 euros for rent, they can at least expect that the stadium is in good condition.”

the solution? “4 or 5 new stadiums”

According to Peter Vandenemppt, it is important that the stadium in Leuven is playable. “The Professional League requires Belgian football clubs to keep their stadium playable at all times, on pain of defeat.”

“So the professional clubs had to invest, but the city of Brussels did not. They were simply too passive and the Belgian Football Association and the fans are now victims of this.”

This is not the first time that Belgium has been at the forefront of Europe at King Baudouin Stadium. “As the capital of Europe, we were able to miss the 2021 European Championships,” notes Vandenembept accurately.

“I have been told that UEFA should grant an exception for every match at the King Baudouin Stadium, because it is not suitable for international football. We will soon have to go to Lille to watch our national team.”

We will soon have to go to Lille to watch our national team.

Peter Vandenemppt

Is there a solution to the stadium crisis? “Yes, we need 4 or 5 new stadiums in Belgium, where the national team can play,” Vandenembept said.

“Or a big new stadium, although I understand why that didn’t happen. Peter Bossert, the former chief executive of the Football Association, had already launched the idea, but forgot to ask who would pay for it.”

It’s annoying for the Red Devils to be playing in front of empty stands, but Vandenempt describes it as “the least of all problems”. He concludes: “The most important thing is that the Devils can play on a good field.”