Euro 2020: Croatia ditch St Andrews as base and copy Czech Republic

Dundee United train at St Andrews
Scottish Premiership club Dundee United train at St Andrews

Croatia have followed the example of Czech Republic by moving their Euro 2020 finals base to their homeland as a result of Scottish Covid-19 rules.

The Czechs announced last week they had pulled out of using the Oriam national performance centre in Edinburgh.

Now the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) says it will not be moving into its proposed team camp in St Andrews.

Executive director Marijan Kustic said it could not risk “the whole team being sent into self-isolation”.

Croatia open their group stage campaign against England at Wembley on 13 June, take on the Czechs at Hampden Park in Glasgow five days later and then face Scotland at the same venue on 22 June.

The HNS claimed it received a recommendation from Uefa to change the location of its base camp because of the potential impact of Scotland’s Covid-19 regulations “on the national team’s daily routines” should there be positive PCR test results.

Head coach Zlatko Dalic and his squad will instead remain in Rovinj, where they have already been training at NK Rovinj Stadium.

“Choosing any other international option for our team camp this close to the Euros would have been pure improvisation,” Kustic said.

“We acted responsibly and we found a quick solution for our team in these exceptionally difficult circumstances. We couldn’t allow ourselves to place the whole team in danger of being sent into self-isolation by travelling to St Andrews.”

Dalic also agreed staying at their current base was “the best option”.

“This is the best outcome we could reach in these strange times and we now have a unique opportunity to spend this tournament in our own country,” he said.

Croatia warm up for the finals with a friendly against Armenia on Tuesday then take on Belgium on Sunday.

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