September 2, 2017 / 7:49 PM / 5 months ago

Croatia v Kosovo qualifier abandoned due to heavy rain

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia’s home World Cup qualifier against Kosovo was abandoned midway through the first half due to adverse weather conditions which made the pitch unplayable on Saturday, the Croatian Football Association (HNS) said.

“The fixture has been abandoned and it is now up to FIFA officials to decide when it will be replayed,” HNS press officer Tomislav Pacak said.

Players found it almost impossible to control the ball in Dinamo’s Maksimir stadium, with huge puddles all over the surface making it unplayable and causing dangerous skidding which could have led to serious injuries.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Croatia vs Kosovo - Zagreb, Croatia - September 2, 2017 Croatia’s Luka Modric in action on the waterlogged pitch REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Swedish referee Stefan Johannesson deliberated with the players for several minutes before leading them into the dressing rooms for the organisers to make a decision whether to carry on.

With incessant rain pouring, they had no choice but to announce that the match will have to be rearranged.

The Croatians led Europe’s Group I before the kick-off with 13 points from six games, ahead on goal difference from Iceland who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Finland earlier on Saturday.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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