England’s fixture list for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers has been agreed, with the FA pleased that their side will not participate in any fixtures directly after the culmination of the Premier League season.
Concerns had been raised that any June games would see the Three Lions at their weakest, with the players fatigued after a gruelling season. However, Fabio Capello’s men start their campaign against Moldova in September 2012, and have avoided summer fixtures.
The home nation will face Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Poland and Ukraine in Group H, and representatives of the countries met to finalise the fixture list.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement so quickly today,” Club England manager Adrian Bevington, who led the English delegation, said.
“It was important for us to avoid dates in June. We have managed to agree fixtures similar to those we set out to achieve. There was good co-operation in the room and Poland organised the event extremely well,” he concluded.
England’s qualification to Euro 2012 and friendly wins over Sweden and Spain have also had a knock-on effect on the Fifa world rankings, as the Wembley-based side move up from seventh to fifth in the world.
By Gareth McKnight