Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua - coached by Gus Poyet and where Carlos Tevez plays - saw part of their home stadium engulfed during a dramatic fire this morning.
Pictures and mobile phone footage now going viral on Chinese social media show a huge inferno raging and plumes of black smoke rising from the 33,000-seater stadium.
The authorities in Shanghai Municipality’s Hongkou District, in East China, reported that the blaze began at around 8:30am local time, burning through one end of Hongkou Stadium and stopping morning traffic nearby.
Fortunately, no one is believed to have been hurt during the dramatic incident, with the fire brigade saying the flames were contained shortly after they arrived.
Local authorities are investigating the cause of the fire and have yet to give a clear indication of the cause. However, the police have revealed that they suspect the blaze may have started in the stadium’s indoor rock climbing facilities.
Shanghai Shenhua, who currently sit fourth in the Chinese Super League, are scheduled to host Changchun Yatai on April 16 and may need to play their home game at a neutral ground if the stadium is not repaired by then.
Hongkou Stadium was China’s first professional football stadium when it was opened in March 1999.