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Federation Internationale de Football Association fines Croatia and Sweden over World Cup equipment breaches

14 July 2018

"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croat living in Germany, as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile.

England will make a low-key return home on Sunday, with no team parade planned.

"He was totally on board with us not playing him in the first game against Belgium". We have the chance to win a medal at a World Cup, which only one other English team has ever done. "We will try to impose ourselves and with a bit of luck it could be our day".

Perhaps the most interesting decision, though, relates to six-goal striker Harry Kane, who leads the Golden Boot race and was among eight changes when England's reserves lost 1-0 to Belgium's back-ups in the Group G finale last month.

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Despite England's exit, Southgate remains proud of the impact that his players have made. "And then you have to counteract that with how many good ones and how many you might do differently".

"We want to write history with a third place". They have real humility.

The World Cup may not be coming home this year, but they can take solace from the fact that they gave us a song that is unofficially the anthem of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Gareth Southgate says he is already planning for the European Championships in 2020 following England's defeat to Croatia on Wednesday. The love and support we received from everyone will live long in the memory and its great that we have come together as a nation to create new memories.

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Semi-final against England and presumptuous English media: "We were the better team in the second half and in extra-time".

Asked whether he feared that this run to the last four in Russian Federation could turn out to be the peak for his team, Southgate said: "None of us know if that's as good as it gets".

He feels the team has not only improved on the field but perceptions of the national side at home have also been changed.

Barcelona midfielder Rakitic has played an integral role in his country's unexpected march to Sunday's final against France in Moscow. We are up against players of a high quality and with lots of experience. "We represent the whole country", he said.

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Though captain Luka Modric has been very much Croatia's star man throughout their run to the final of the tournament, it is Perisic who is most capable of providing the offensive spark capable of unlocking a French defence which has only conceded four goals at this summer's tournament.

Federation Internationale de Football Association fines Croatia and Sweden over World Cup equipment breaches