Why is England's Nations League match with Croatia being played behind closed doors?
Stadion HNK Rijeka will host Croatia v England Nations League tie
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 12/10/18 12:32pm
England travel to Croatia to play their first away match in the Nations League on Friday - but the fixture will take place behind closed doors. Here, we explain why…
When is the match?
Croatia v England kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday, October 12, and you can watch it live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.
What's the competition?
The match is England's second group game in the Nations League. After losing to Spain 2-1 at Wembley last month, Gareth Southgate's side will be hoping for a positive result against Croatia to boost their hopes of reaching the Nations League finals next summer.
Defeat would put them at risk of finishing bottom of their three-team pool and being relegated from League A.
Where will it be played?
The match takes place at Stadion HNK Rijeka, in the city of Rijeka. The stadium has a capacity of just over 8,000 spectators - but will soon become local club HNK Rijeka's training ground when the new Stadion Kantrida is opened.
Croatia have played there just twice before.
Why will the match be played behind closed doors?
Croatia are serving the second part of their two-game punishment imposed by UEFA after a swastika was marked on their pitch before a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.
They were also deducted a point for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign over the incident - although they still qualified for the France showpiece, going on to lose their last-16 tie to eventual winners Portugal.
"This is sabotage and felony," Tomislav Pacak, a Croatia Football Federation spokesman said at the time, in relation to the swastika.
Their November home tie with Nations League Group A4 rivals Spain will be open to supporters.
Why is the punishment taking place so long after the event?
Croatia played the first match of their two-game stadium ban in October 2015, in a fixture with Bulgaria. But they have not had a home fixture in a UEFA competition since then.
Is this the first time Croatia have been in trouble with UEFA?
No - the swastika incident followed a string of crowd problems involving Croatia supporters.
The game against Italy was already being played behind closed doors after racist chanting from Croatia supporters against Norway.
In that match against Norway, Croatia had closed part of their stadium to home fans after a previous qualifier with Italy had been stopped twice due to crowd trouble.