ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia’s abandoned home World Cup qualifier against Kosovo will resume on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. local time (1330 BST), the Croatian Football federation (HNS) said.
The match was abandoned midway through the first half on Saturday due to adverse weather conditions which made the pitch unplayable.
“Bearing in mind that it was impossible to set another date due to the busy match schedule, the two countries’ federations, FIFA and UEFA reached agreement to resume the match on Sunday from the 22nd minute, when it was interrupted,” the HNS said on its official website (www.hns-cff.hr).
“The teams have to carry on with the same line-ups who were on the pitch when the match was abandoned.”
Heavy rain which swept through the Croatian capital before and during the Group I qualifier created huge puddles all over the pitch at Dinamo’s Maksimir stadium, endangering the players’ safety and making it impossible for them to control the ball.
Swedish referee Stefan Johannesson stopped the match and after 10 minutes of consultations with both teams and the organisers, he led the two sides to the dressing rooms.
Croatia are second in the group on 13 points behind Ukraine, who have 14 points after Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Turkey.
Europe’s nine group winners will qualify automatically for next year’s tournament in Russia while the eight best runners-up will enter a two-leg playoff for an additional four berths.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ian Ransom