Cegeka Arena, home of Racing Genk. Cegeka Arena, home of Racing Genk. (Image: Geert Budenaerts, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

West Ham United sit atop Group H of the Europa League with a perfect nine points after three games. After a 3-0 win in London over Genk, the teams face off again this time in Belgium. Groundhopper Soccer Guides introduces you to their opponents from Belgium’s First Division A.

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Genk players in home uniforms

Racing Genk sporting their home kits. (Image: Садовников Дмитрий, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons)

Introduction to Koninklijke Racing Club Genk

A fairly new club, having been formed in 1988, Genk have found success early. They have won four domestic trophies in Belgium (most recently for the 2018-19 season), and reaching the group stage of the Champions League three times (most recently in 2019-20).

K.R.C. Genk’s History

The club has been in the Belgium First Division A every season since 1996-97. Since claiming top honors in Belgium in 2018-19, Genk finished seventh in 2019-20 and fourth in 2020-21, which earned them a spot in this season’s Europa League.

Genk’s Stadium, Cegeka Arena

The 23,718-seat venue was built in 1999 and is mostly used for football matches. In addition to Genk home games, the stadium has hosted the Belgium national team a couple of times, but not since 2010.

outside of Genk's CegekA Arena

The U.S. national team played Italy in a friendly at Genk’s stadium in 2018. (Image: Geert Budenaerts, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The City of Genk, Belgium

Genk is located on the Albert Canal, and is one of the most important industrial towns in the Limburg province in northeast Belgium.

Coal was discovered in the city in 1901, and a rush of miners found their way to look for the “Black Gold.” The main coal mine closed in 1966, and Genk developed new industries utilizing its location on the canal. By the 1980s, all remaining coal mines were closed.

Besides touring parts of the old mining sites, tourists can visit an open-air museum, a planetarium, and many green spaces including the grounds of the Bokrijk Estate and a nearby national park.

outside of Chateau of the Bokrijk Estate in Genk

Genk’s largest tourist attraction is the chateau of the Bokrijk Estate. (Image: Sonuwe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

2021-2022 Europa League Schedule

Group A – Genk, West Ham United, Rapid Wien (Austria) , Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

Here at the matchups between Genk and West Ham United:

  • October 21 – at West Ham – West Ham 3-0
  • November 4 – at Genk

Have a complete look at the 2021-22 Europa League schedule and learn more about the Premier League clubs in the Europa League.

How to Watch the UEFA Europa League in the U.S.

Watch the Europa League on Paramount+ in the US.

Read more about European Clubs & Travel: