KIEV, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Shakhtar Donetsk’s Donbass Arena suffered serious blast damage from shelling on Monday despite a ceasefire agreed between the Ukraine government and Russian-backed separatists.
Photographs posted on Twitter showed damage to the glass facade of the stadium in eastern Ukraine’s separatist stronghold.
“As a result of a powerful explosion, the blast wave caused serious damage to the western and eastern parts of the arena,” Vadyn Gunko, the Arena’s interim executive manager, told the shakhtar.com website.
”A part of the facade glass crashed, a large area of it with critical damage. The inner facilities also were hit. We are assessing the damage at the moment, blocking the dangerous areas.
“We are warning the residents of Donetsk not to approach the stadium under any circumstances as it might be unsafe,” he added.
Shakhtar have moved their headquarters from the strife-torn industrial city to Kiev, with home games being played in the western city of Lviv.
The 52,000-seat venue, which hosted five matches at Euro 2012 and regularly staged Champions League matches, has suffered minor damage in shelling over the past two months with the north-eastern facade damaged in September.
Donetsk has become a stronghold of pro-Russian separatists who are fighting army forces controlled by the government.
The Donbass stadium opened five years ago, with club owner Rynat Akhmetov spending around $400 million on the project. (Editing by Alan Baldwin)