The client behind Wembley stadium is planning to test the finished ground by organising matches with England’s greatest football rivals: Germany and Argentina. Wembley National Stadium Limited is understood to have begun talks with the Argentinian and German football associations.
The friendlies would be part of a 56-day programme to test the stadium before it hosts its first full-capacity match, the 2006 FA Cup final. The stadium requires three major tests from the start of next February to ensure that it is fully operational by the time of the final.
The first game would be an exhibition match to be held in front of 30,000 people, and is pencilled in for 18 February. There will then be two matches by early April, each with a ticket allocation of 50,000-60,000. At least one of these will be an international, with Germany or Argentina the preferred opposition because of their history of rivalry with England.
If these matches pass off without any technical glitches, the 80,000-capacity cup final will be able to go ahead.
The key time for the project will come this autumn when eight support tower structures will be removed so that the main roof structure can be put in place.
A source close to the project said: “This is the most critical manoeuvre. If anything is going to delay the project, the roof will. Multiplex will be giving it its utmost attention.”