Wales to discover location of Croatia qualifier ‘by end of the week’

Wales are expected to finally discover the venue of their Euro 2020 qualifier in Croatia by the end of the week.

The Croatian Football Federation announced in the first week of February that the June 8 qualifier would be played at Osijek’s Stadion Gradski.

But concerns over the suitability of the venue prompted UEFA to arrange a site visit of the 18,856-capacity stadium.

“We can confirm that the site visit took place last week in Osijek,” a UEFA spokesman told Football Paradise.

“The decision is expected to follow by the end of the week.”

Croatia play their home games at a variety of venues, with grounds in Rijeka, Split, Varazdin and the capital Zagreb all used.

Wales have played in Osijek on their last two visits to Croatia.

John Toshack’s side lost a friendly there 2-0 in May 2010, while Chris Coleman’s team were beaten by the same scoreline in a World Cup qualifier in October 2012.

Welsh fans have been left frustrated by the wait to confirm the venue for the Group E qualifier.

Many supporters arranged transport and accommodation after the Croatian Federation announced that Osijek, which is about 175 miles from Zagreb, would stage the game.

UEFA regulations state that the host association must select the match venue and tell them at least 120 days before the game in question.

The Croatian Football Federation did this on February 5 by selecting Osijek as the match venue.

But Article 26.04 of UEFA’s European Football Championship regulations state: “The UEFA administration will take a final decision, confirming the venue or requesting that the host association propose another in accordance with (various) regulations.”

Ryan Giggs’ side start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Slovakia in Cardiff on March 24 before tackling back-to-back games away to Croatia and Hungary in June.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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