Newport's friendly with German side Carl Zeiss Jena in doubt

Newport County's friendly with Carl Zeiss Jena on Saturday is in danger of being cancelled because of safety concerns over the German club's ground.

Jena president Rainer Zipfel says he has been stunned by the stadium owner's decision to close the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld with immediate effect.

The club have been told that the stadium's floodlights are in danger of collapse because of erosion.

Zipel says there is little hope of finding an alternative venue.

Jena, who play in the fourth tier of German football, have appealed against the decision, the outcome of which will be known on Thursday.

Newport, who are preparing for their return to the Football League for the first time in 25 years, are planning to travel to Germany on Thursday night and have not been told of any problems.

They plan to train in Germany on Friday and the day after the game before flying home.

Some 250 fans are expected to accompany them on the trip.

Saturday's friendly was organised as part of Jena's 110th anniversary celebrations.

The clubs last met in the quarter-final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1981 when Jena won 3-2 on aggregate.

Newport earned a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Jena in 1981, but a 1-0 defeat at Somerton Park in the second leg saw the German team advance to the semi-final.

Jena were eventually beaten 2-1 in the final by Dinamo Tbilisi.

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