Football: England to host Switzerland in September friendly

England are to play post-World Cup friendly internationals at home to Switzerland and the United States, the governing Football Association announced on Wednesday.

Football: England to host Switzerland in September friendly
Supporters before the 2018 World Cup play-off second leg qualifying football match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at St Jakob-Park Stadium in November 2017. Photo: AFP

The matches will be in addition to a UEFA Nations League campaign that features home and away fixtures with Spain and Croatia.

No venue has yet been decided for the September 11th visit of the Swiss team – known as the Nati in French and German – leading to speculation the FA could take the game away from their Wembley headquarters in London in a bid to make it easier for fans in another part of England to see the national side.

The November 15 match against the United States will, however, take place at Wembley. 

Switzerland, ranked sixth in the world according to the latest Fifa rankings. last played in England, ranked 13th, in September 2015, when goals from Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney condemned them to a 2-0 defeat in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

After the 2018 World Cup in Russia, England begin their Nations League campaign at home to Spain on September 8th, before trips to Croatia and Spain on October 12th and 15th respectively, ahead of facing Croatia at Wembley on November 18th.

England next play Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 before facing Costa Rica in another World Cup warm-up fixture in Leeds five days later.

Gareth Southgate's men begin their World Cup finals campaign against Tunisia on June 18.

Switzerland, meanwhile, will face footballing giants Brazil on June 17th in their first match of the tournament in Russia. They are also set to face Serbia and Costa Rica in the group stage.

Tickets for the England–Switzerland game are not yet on sale.


‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.