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GROUND // Stade du Pays de Charleroi - Sporting Charleroi

The Stade du Pays de Charleroi was one of the stadiums that was used in the EURO 2000 championship held in Belgium and The Netherlands. Especially for this tournament the stadium was renovated and extended to a capacity of 30,000. Shortly after EURO 2000 the capacity went back to 25,000 and only two years ago it was decided to break down the very nice upper rings on the grandstands.

Capacity now is 14,000. It's a shame to see the rings were broken down as they really made this stadium majestic. The stadium was formerly known as Mambourg, which is still being used very frequently in Belgium.

This stadium was first opened in 1939 and has always been the homeground of R Charleroi Sporting Club (RCSC), the biggest club in Charleroi, but it was already the homeground before the stadium was built here since 1923. The team was already founded in 1904 and carries matricule number 22, making it older than Racing Mechelen and KV Mechelen. The teams nickname is The Zebras which was first used in 1926 due to their black and white striped shirts. Up until today these are still the main colours. In the past the team wasn't the biggest in the city. The neighbouring and rivalling Olympic Charleroi used to be number one. This changed in the 70s and 80s when Olympic started relegating to lower national divisions and Sporting remained in first division for decades. Ever since 1985 Sporting only played in second division once, even reaching the European tournaments a few times. This season they also managed to grab a European ticket after beating KV Mechelen in the finals of the play offs.

Sporting Charleroi is well known for having a lot of bigger players in the league (we are mainly thinking about the Brogno-family, Philippe Albert, Alex Czerniatynski, Regis Genaux, Enzo Scifo, Philippe Vande Walle, Par Zetterberg and Daniel Van Buyten). But they also became infamous for the president of the team, the Bayat-family.


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