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Croatia play England in inaugural Nations League in October

Thursday 12/July/2018 - 09:13 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
It's not the World Cup but everyone connected with England will have to wait just three months to get some sort of 'revenge' for their semi-final defeat by Croatia، as the Daily Mail said.
England bowed out of the global showpiece 2-1 in extra time on Wednesday night thanks to Mario Mandzukic's 109th-minute goal.
For Croatia their attention turns to France in Sunday's World Cup final، while England have to pick themselves up for their third-place play-off against Belgium on Saturday
And after the tournament has concluded Croatia and England will meet once again on October 12 during the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Gareth Southgate's Three Lions، whose ranking means they are in League A - the top league - will also meet Spain in this new competition beginning in September which has been launched in a bid to ditch meaningless international friendlies.
The format of the Nations League sees four leagues of A، B، C and D، split into four groups of three or four teams، and will replace the majority of friendlies.
After hosting Spain at Wembley on September 8، England will then travel to Rijeka to face their World Cup conquerors، Croatia.
However، that match at Stadion HNK Rijeka will be played behind closed doors as Croatia complete a UEFA stadium ban for having a swastika on their pitch.
A statement from European football's governing body in January read: 'UEFA can confirm that the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Croatia and England scheduled for 12 October 2018 will be played behind closed doors.
'This relates back to a decision taken by the UEFA control، ethics and disciplinary body on 23 July 2015 which ordered the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) to play its next two home matches in UEFA competition without supporters in the stadium.'
Croatia were sanctioned by European football's governing body after a swastika symbol became clear on the touchline in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy. That match was played behind closed doors in Split after a previous instance of racist chanting by supporters.
They served the first game of the ban against Bulgaria in October 2015 but there have not been any UEFA-run qualifiers since، meaning the Nations League match against England is the second match of their suspension.
The Nations League، which has promotion and relegation، is designed to allow teams to play against those who are similarly ranked and will offer some who do not qualify for Euro 2020 via the normal route a path to the play-offs.
The competition will see semi-finals، the final and a third-placed game، held between June 5-9، 2019.

The 16 Nations League group winners will go into play-offs for Euro 2020، to be played in March 2020. If they have already qualified for the European Championship the next best-ranked team in their league will take their place in the play-offs.

Each league has a path of its own، and will consist of two single-leg semi-finals and a one-off final. The winner of each path qualifies for Euro 2020.

At the end of the group stages of the Nations League، those who finish bottom of the groups will be relegated to the league below and four teams will be promoted to the league above.

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