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 By Ben Gladwell

UEFA docks Croatia one point in Euro qualifying for swastika on pitch

A swastika on the pitch has cost Croatia the point they earned in the draw against Italy.

Italy have moved to within a point of Euro 2016 qualifying Group H leaders Croatia on Thursday as their rivals were deducted a point by UEFA.

UEFA announced that the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) had been docked one point because of the racist behaviour of their fans during the 1-1 draw with Italy in Split last month. Television pictures of the game showed how a swastika had been drawn on the pitch.

"The HNS has also been ordered to play its next two home matches in UEFA competition behind...

Croatia prime minister asks UEFA for leniency in swastika punishment

The ESPN FC crew react to a swastika pattern drawn on the pitch during Croatia's 1-1 draw with Italy.

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatia's prime minister has called on UEFA to refrain from severely punishing the country's national team after a swastika pattern appeared on the pitch during a European Championship qualifier against Italy last month.

Zoran Milanovic said in a letter on Wednesday to UEFA president Michel Platini that "draconian sanctions" would "destroy the national team" and that the swastika incident was directed against the Croatian Football Association, which has become embroiled in a dispute...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Italy miss out on World Cup qualifying seeding after Portugal defeat

Italy face the prospect of a difficult World Cup qualifying draw after they lost to Portugal 1-0 in an international friendly on Tuesday.

Antonio Conte's Italy went into the game in Geneva in the knowledge that nothing less than a victory would give them the Ranking points they required to climb above Croatia and be seeded in pot 1 for the draw in St Petersburg on July 25.

But Portugal, who were without the rested Cristiano Ronaldo, needed only one goal from Eder in the 52nd minute to help...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Italy face must-win game against Portugal for World Cup seeding

Italy face Portugal in an international friendly on Tuesday evening which could have huge implications on their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Antonio Conte's Italy currently find themselves outside the top nine of European nations in the next FIFA Ranking, which will be published on July 9. It means they face being unseeded the World Cup qualifying draw in St Petersburg on July 25.

Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, England, Wales, Portugal and Spain are all assured of being...