You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Quake grounds Nix, Victory A-League clash

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Ben McKay and Daniel Gilhooly

Superficial damage to Westpac Stadium suffered in Monday's earthquake has caused Melbourne Victory's A-League visit to Wellington this weekend to be postponed.

The waterside Wellington venue has been cleared of major structural damage after the 7.5-magnitude quake.

However, the stadium trust says there is superficial damage throughout the building that will require repairs.

As a result, Football Federation Australia, in consultation with the Phoenix and stadium management, opted to postpone the match.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke, who offered his condolences to those impacted by the earthquake, made the call as early in the week as possible to aid planning.

"Our first concern is for the safety of everyone involved and from our desire to support Wellington Phoenix, Westpac Stadium and New Zealand authorities in this very difficult time," he said.

Before the call was made, Nix coach Ernie Merrick suggested the move would suit the club - even though the club has momentum with two wins in their last two outings.

"To be perfectly honest, a break would be good for us," Merrick said.

"We've had a fairly hectic travelling schedule, so if we have to have a break this weekend and the game is postponed maybe to be a midweek game in January, that would really suit us."

Victory chief executive Ian Robson said the Melbourne-based club was totally supportive of the decision.

"Our thoughts are with the people of New Zealand, particularly those directly affected by the earthquake this week," he said.

"We understand the inconvenience this may have caused to those who have purchased tickets and planned to travel to New Zealand this weekend, however in this instance postponing the game was the only option."

Westpac Stadium boss Shane Harmon says the internal concourse and seating bowl will remain shut until repairs, expected to take two weeks, are completed.

The stadium offices and the ground level of the public car park reopened on Tuesday after the venue was closed on Monday as a precaution.

Harmon says public safety is the top priority.

"We are disappointed to have to reschedule a sporting event for the first time in the stadium's history," he said.

"However, there is simply not enough time to complete the repairs required."

The damage included burst water pipes, concrete cracking and spalling, broken windows and some liquefaction on the stadium ring road.

"The damage is similar in nature to that which incurred during the July 2013 earthquake and we're confident that it can be repaired", said Harmon.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon