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 By PA Sport

Croatia vs. England game will be played behind closed doors

Gareth Southgate's England travel to Croatia in October.

England's first-ever UEFA Nations League trip will be played behind closed doors as Croatia complete a stadium ban for having a swastika on their pitch, UEFA has said.

The group draw for the new competition took place in Lausanne last week, with Gareth Southgate's side pitted against Spain and Croatia in Group A4.

The Three Lions travel to Croatia on Oct. 12 -- a match UEFA has confirmed will be played behind closed doors.

A statement from European football's governing body to the Press Association said: "UEFA can confirm that the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Croatia and England 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.

Croatia 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 will be the second match of their suspension.

The Croatian Football Federation reported the incident to UEFA at the time and described it as an "act of sabotage," with press officer Tomislav Pacak adding: "A chemical agent was used on the field 24 to 48 hours before the kick-off, timed to be visible during the qualifying match."

UEFA imposed hefty sanctions for the "racist behaviour" by docking Croatia a point in Euro 2016 qualification and handing down a £70,000 fine.


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