The Estadio Nacional of Peru is a multi-purpose stadium located in Lima, Peru and is owned by the Peruvian Government. This grass surfaced national stadium has a seater capacity of 50,000 and has a field size of 104.9 by 67.86 m. It is the headquarter for 16 Peruvian sporting federations.
The stadium is also known as Coloso de José Díaz and was open to the public on 27th of October 1952. It serves as the home ground of the Peruvian national football team.
The stadium was built on the site of Estadio Guadalupe, which was the first football-based field in Peru, established in the late 19th century. In 1921, Estadio Guadalupe was renamed to Stadium Nacional and was donated to the Peruvian government.
It was demolished to make way for the new Estadio Nacional stadium which would host the 1953 South American Championship.
In order to bid for the 2015 Pan American Games, this stadium underwent an extensive set of renovations in the years 2010 and 2011.
The first football match at the stadium was played between players of the Peru national football team, that formed two teams for the match.
The stadium has hosted the 1953 South American Championship and 1957 South American Championship.
Throughout the stadium history, several popular international football teams and renowned players have played in the stadium, including Spain's Real Madrid, as well as great players like Pelé and Maradona.
Peru has also hosted the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship at this very stadium.
The 1964 tragedy held on 24th of May saw more than 300 people lose their lives, leaving a minimum 4000 people injured. The incident took place during the qualifying match for the 1964 Olympics, between Peru and Argentina.
Argentina led the match 1–0 during the second half, and in the final minutes Peru equalized with a goal. However, the Uruguayan referee Ángel Eduardo Pazos disallowed the goal leading to the spectators being infuriated by the decision.
This led to a pitch invasion and the police using tear gas as well as brutal force to remove the spectators. Apart from that, the exits of the stadium were closed which trapped the fans inside the stadium.
A riot ensued outside the stadium and led the then President to even declare a state of emergency which lasted for a month.
For the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championships, artificial turfs were installed into all the venues used. The artificial turf has received heavy criticism from clubs of the Peruvian First Division, asking to remove it because of the constant injuries it had caused.
This turf was the reason why the Peruvian national football team did not play its 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match at the stadium. Eventually, during the 2010 renovations, the artificial turf was removed.
On 24th July 2011, the renovated stadium reopened to the public with a friendly match between the Peru national Under-20 football team and the Spain national Under-20 football team.
The most noticeable recent match that held at the stadium was the World Cup Qualifiers Play off between Peru and New Zealand. Peru won the match with the two goals scored by Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos. This is the first time in 35 years that Peru qualified for the FIFA World Cup.