Bogotá, Aug 2 (EFE) .- New grass, exclusive dressing room for the Colombian team and remodeled substitute benches are some of the novelties that the Metropolitan stadium of Barranquilla, the home of Carlos Queiroz’s team, will have for the start of the playoffs to Qatar 2022, scheduled for October.
The Secretary of Recreation and Sports of Barranquilla, Gabriel Berdugo, said in an interview with Efe that this sports scenario, which will also host the final of the Copa América in 2021, will be “not only the best in Colombia, but one of the most important from Southamerica”.
The official, son of the legendary Colombian defender Gabriel Berdugo, explains that the Mayor’s Office took advantage of the halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic to change the stadium’s lawn at the suggestion of the agronomist responsible for its maintenance.
That work, he details, began last month and is expected to be completed between September 8-10.
“The grass had approximately three and a half years of having changed it. Normally a soccer field with high traffic is changed between three and a half and four years (after being installed),” he says, and assures that this change has a cost of 168 million Colombian pesos (about $ 45,000).
On the other hand, Berdugo points out that if the league resumes at the end of August, the Junior will play his first games in the other stadium in the city, Romelio Martínez, and if the September schedule of the Copa Libertadores is maintained, the club from Barranquilla you will be able to play those games in the “Metro”.
The Roberto Meléndez Metropolitan Stadium, opened in May 1986, has been the home of the Colombian team since that time and there the coffee team has achieved the World Cup qualifications in Italy 1990, United States 1994, France 1998, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 .
In 2011, it hosted the inaugural match of the Colombia U20 World Cup and, in addition, it has hosted other important events, such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018.
Facing the America’s Cup organized by Colombia and Argentina, scheduled for this year but postponed by the pandemic, Barranquilla is one of the main venues and this is why the Mayor’s Office decided to make renovations to the sports arena to create a “new experience of going to the Metropolitan stadium. “
With the time that the pandemic has given them, the objective is that when the continental tournament begins, the stadium has “the museum of the Colombia team”, where the history of the coffee complex is told and “everything that had to do (the stadium ) in the World Cups to which the country has classified “playing in Barranquilla as a local.
“It will also be the only stadium in Colombia with an exclusive dressing room for the national team. This was designed by Professor Queiroz and contains offices for him and collective offices for his team, as well as warm-up areas, wet areas, cabinets and bathrooms. It will be ready at the end of August “, he details.
The other four dressing rooms that the stadium has, the two main ones and the alternates (which are used in case there are preliminary games to the main games) will also be remodeled, and one is being built for the referees, which will have ” a heating area, cabinets and massage tables. “
“Next we have the doping room and the officers’ room of Conmebol (South American Football Confederation), required by them for the Copa América,” says Berdugo, adding that the exit tunnel was also relocated at the request of the regional body. for the tournament.
That is why Berdugo considers that the Metropolitan stadium will be ready for the qualifying rounds if Conmebol decides to keep the scheduled date and that it is also the ideal place to play in the final of the Copa Libertadores in 2023, which was nominated as the venue.
Jorge Gil Ángel
(c) EFE Agency