The Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua have had their 33,060 capacity Hongkou stadium damaged by a huge fire.
No casualties were reported after the fire broke out in the corner of the stadium, early on Tuesday morning.
China's state news agency Xinhua reportedly said the fire had not affected the stands or the pitch and that investigations were ongoing to determine the cause. Local media did not report any injuries.
Video footage showed flames and smoke pouring out of the side of the Hongkou Stadium as fire-fighters battled to tackle the huge blaze.
Unsurprisingly, the club may be forced to play their next home fixture — against Changchun Yatai on April 16 — away from the stadium, with photographs showing significant damage to the top part of the arena.
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) March 28, 2017
The stadium was opened in 1999 and hosted the final of the 2007 Women’s World Cup and has also staged a number of large concerts, with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Kylie Minogue all performing at the ground.
Arsenal are also due to play a pre-season friendly at the ground, against Bayern Munich on Wednesday July 19.
There's a fire at Hongkou football stadium (Shanghai Shenhua's home) this morning. pic.twitter.com/4tQNR4HMKQ
— TransferMarkt China (@asaikana) March 28, 2017
However the damage will certainly be repaired by then, with Cameron Wilson, a Chinese football analyst in Shanghai, telling the South China Morning Post: “There’s a part of the roof been burned but from what I know of the stadium having been going for years it doesn’t look like anything irreparable.”
The club, coached by the former Brighton and Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, boast the likes of Carlos Tevez in their squad, the Argentinian having signed over the winter on reported wages of £615,000 a week.
The Chinese Super League season is two games old, with Shanghai Shenhua sitting fourth having taken four points from their opening two games.
Shenhua’s cross-city rivals, Shanghai SIPG, currently top the cash-rich league.