ALBANIA TO BUILD NEW NATIONAL STADIUM

Albania will spend £51million on a new national football stadium to meet both UEFA and FIFA requirements.

The 30,000-seater stadium will be the country's largest ever sports investment.

Albanian football federation president Armando Duka told Reuters: "The goal of the Albanian Soccer Federation is to give a dignified stadium for our team, our institution, Albania and the Albanian fans."

It will replace Qemal Stafa Stadium, Albania’s main venue which opened in 1946. The 19,600-seater stadium is in need of major upgrades and has come in under heavy criticism in recent years.

Last year the floodlights cut out during a friendly match between an Albanian team and Spain's Real Madrid much to the shock of the world’s media. Other complaints have arisen following cold showers after the games.

"It will be an elite stadium," Duka said. "It will meet all the requirements established by UEFA and is adequate for every kind of international match."

UEFA President Michel Platini has visited Albania to help push forward the stadium project. It is expected to open in late 2013.

Posted on 09/02/2011