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Tubize put forward to host new national stadium
The southern Brussels commuter town of Tubize has been put forward by the Walloon region as the recommended location for Belgium's new national football stadium.
The country's federal government, once formed, faces the task of deciding where should host major sporting events in the future - and the Walloon minister for sports infrastructure, Jean-Luc Crucke, said Tubize would be a natural choice.
"It's at the gates of Brussels. The motorway passes by and it's close to the two big airports at Zaventem and Charleroi," Crucke said.
Brussels missed out on the chance of hosting Euro 2020 matches next summer because of the ongoing saga relating to its national stadium.
Plans to replace the King Baudouin stadium with a new 60,000-seater Eurostadium, on the site of Heysel's Parking C - which is in Grimbergen, Flanders - fell through after Flanders refused to grant an environmental permit.
The Red Devils' training centre is already in Tubize and the Belgian Cycling Federation is having its new headquarters built there.
Crucke added that the project would also benefit Flanders. The land earmarked for the project could potentially overflow into the neighbouring municipality of Halle, which is in Flemish Brabant.
"As soon as the federal government is established, we must move forward on this project," Crucke said.
The mayor of Tubize, Michel Januth, said he was not consulted about the idea - but said he remained "open to discussion" and was "very proud" to see the interest in his municipality.
Manu Leroy, marketing director of the Belgian Football Union, said there was a widespread consensus that a new national stadium should be ready for 2023.
"We need a solution where we can move quickly," he said. "Today, all political parties support the idea of giving the existing King Baudouin stadium a facelift."