Athens Olympic Stadium shuts down due to safety concerns

ATHENS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic Stadium and the Velodrome at the Athens Olympic Athletic Center (OAKA) complex, the main venue of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, have been shut down due to safety concerns.

A preliminary investigation has been ordered by a prosecutor over possible shortcomings in maintenance, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Saturday.

The complex with its iconic arches was opened for use at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and many sports events.

OAKA's management announced on Friday that all activities at the Stadium and Velodrome are suspended based on a report reviewing the metal structures and polycarbonic roofs at the sports complex, that indicates that they do not meet the required levels of static efficiency.

It was not clarified how long the suspension would last. If the issue is not resolved by the end of October, the safety measure is expected to create problems for Panathinaikos FC in terms of its European games, as OAKA is its home turf during the Europa League games and a game is scheduled for Oct. 26.

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