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 Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 11:49 GMT
Riverside to host Slovakia clash
Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium
The Riverside can hold 35,000 fans
England's vital European Championship qualifier against Slovakia in June will take place at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.

Sven-Goran Eriksson and his squad will attempt to complete a double over the Slovakians at Teesside on Wednesday 11 June (kick-off 2000 BST).

It will be the first time the England senior side have played in the town since 1937, when Sir Stanley Matthews scored in a 2-1 victory over Wales at Ayresome Park.

The Riverside is a terrific stage for international football

FA spokesman Paul Barber

The game could once again pitch Middlesbrough team-mates Gareth Southgate and Szilard Nemeth into battle.

Southgate won his 51st senior cap in Bratislava last year as goals from David Beckham and Michael Owen overhauled the lead given to the home side by Nemeth.

Paul Barber, the Football Association's director of marketing and communications, said the area was renowned for the passion of its football supporters.

"The Riverside is a terrific stage for international football and I'm sure we can look forward to a tremendous atmosphere in front of a capacity crowd in June." he added.

Proud day

Boro chief executive Keith Lamb said he believed the Riverside was one of the finest stadiums in the country.

"As we have international players of both countries in our first-team squad, it is particularly appropriate that we should host a game between England and Slovakia.

"June 11 promises to be a proud day for Middlesbrough FC and its supporters."

The game will be the third senior international to be staged in the North-East in recent years.

Sunderland's Stadium of Light hosted a friendly victory over Belgium while England claimed a 2-0 World Cup qualifier victory over Albania at St James' Park Newcastle.

See also:

30 Jan 03 | England
29 Jan 03 | England
23 Jan 03 | Southampton
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