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Inside abandoned stadium left overgrown and derelict for decade as it faces race against time to be ready for Euro 2028

EURO 2028 will be spread across ten stadiums in the UK and Ireland.

But one of them is currently facing a race to be ready in time for the tournament as it lies overgrown and derelict.

Casement Park has been left empty for 10 years

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Casement Park has been left empty for 10 yearsCredit: Pacemaker
The Gaelic football stadium is overgrown and derelict

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The Gaelic football stadium is overgrown and derelictCredit: Pacemaker
The ground is set to host games during EURO 2028

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The ground is set to host games during EURO 2028Credit: Pacemaker
It looks a long way from being ready for the tournament

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It looks a long way from being ready for the tournamentCredit: Pacemaker

Casement Park – which is situated in west Belfast – has been empty since 2013.

The Gaelic football ground is looking worse for wear with overgrown weeds and neglected facilities.

But plans are in place for to turn it into a 34,500 seat stadium in time for the Euros in 2028.

Preparation work is set to begin next week that will see site clearance and the removal of the old terracing.

The redevelopment of the arena will have to commence before the summer and be completed by mid-2027 in order to meet a Uefa deadline ahead of the highly anticipated tournament.

And Euro 2028 organisers have been forced to explore other options amid fears Casement Park may not be ready in time.

The redevelopment will see the stadium have an incredible face-lift that would make it a permanent home for Gaelic football, but would have special dispensation to be used for Euro 2028.

In March 2023 the GAA announced that, if redeveloped as proposed, it would give special permission under Rule 42 for Casement Park to be included in the tournament.

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The design was put forward by Populous, the architectural firm behind the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Wembley and the proposed work to Old Trafford.

However the spectacular plans haven’t been met with overwhelming support with some local residents labelling the new stadium as a “disaster”.

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Casement Park, which was named after Irish nationalist and diplomat Roger Casement, is one of two grounds in the UK and Ireland’s bid that are currently unbuilt.

The other is Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to be completed by 2024.

Casement Park is named after Irish nationalist and diplomat Roger Casement

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Casement Park is named after Irish nationalist and diplomat Roger CasementCredit: Pacemaker
The redevelopment of the stadium would make a huge change to the local area

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The redevelopment of the stadium would make a huge change to the local areaCredit: Pacemaker
Plans show how different it would look

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Plans show how different it would lookCredit: Pacemaker
The proposed redevelopment would see the arena seat 34,500 fans

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The proposed redevelopment would see the arena seat 34,500 fansCredit: Pacemaker

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