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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
FA chooses Portman Road
Portman Road
Portman Road has a 30,250 capacity
Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium will stage its first senior international match after being selected to host England's friendly against Croatia on 20 August.

Portman Road has a 30,250-seat capacity and it will be the 13th ground to be used since the England team started using grounds around the country because of rennovations to Wembley.

"We're delighted to be staging a senior international at Portman Road, which is a superb stadium and an ideal venue for this game," said the FA's marketing and communications director Paul Barber.

This is recognition for the sporting fans of East Anglia,
Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks

"Since February 2001 the England team have played in the north east, the north west, the west and east midlands, the south coast, Yorkshire, London and now East Anglia.

"It will be the first international match of the new season and I'm sure we can look forward to a tremendous atmosphere in front of a capacity crowd in August."

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks paid tribute to the club's staff and the work done on the stadium.

"It is a tremendous honour and I am really proud for this club that we have been selected to host a full international," said Sheepshanks.

"It is a reflection on the huge improvements made in recent years to our pitch and stadium, as well as the professionalism of our staff who operate and service it.

"Most of all however, it is recognition for the sporting fans of East Anglia, whose fervent support of both this club and our various neighbours, has earned us the right to stage such a prestige occasion in our region."

Croatia will go into the game on the back of a good run of form, currently occupying second place in their Euro 2004 qualifying group behind Bulgaria.






WATCH AND LISTEN
Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks
"It is a great honour for the whole club"



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