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Croatia: Southgate expects ‘strange experience’ without fans at Croatia v England

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England Head Coach Gareth Southgate said his side’s clash with Croatia on Friday would be “a strange experience” since fans are barred from attending the game

Speaking during a press conference at the HNK Rijeka Stadium, Friday, Southgate said “it is a shame especially for our travelling fans who have been with us this summer, so many of whom haven’t missed a game for years, so that’s unfortunate for them in particular.”

Croatia, the losing finalist at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, received a two-game sanction after a swastika appeared imprinted onto their pitch at the Euro 2016 qualifying match against Italy. The symbol appeared while the team was already playing behind closed doors, having been punished for the racist chants of their supporters in a match against Norway.

Croatia will host England in a UEFA Nations League match at the HNK Rijeka Stadium in Rijeka on Friday. Kick off time is scheduled for 20:45h local time.

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