Molineux to host Nations League double-header

Molineux, home of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, will host England’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Italy and Hungary in June.

It will mark the first time in more than 65 years that Molineux has staged a match played by the men’s national team. The Italy match on June 11 will be played behind closed doors due to a sanction from UEFA but the Hungary fixture on June 14 is set to be played in front of a capacity crowd.

Molineux has hosted men’s under-21 matches in recent years and will also host a women’s international next Wednesday as England takes on Germany in the Arnold Clark Cup. The stadium has not hosted a senior men’s international since December 1956, when England defeated Denmark in a qualifier for the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

Matt Wild, Wolves’ general manager of football operations, said: “Following on from the success of the under-21 matches we hosted back in 2020 and the highly-anticipated England Women’s game next week, we’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to host the senior men’s side for two of their home Nations League fixtures.

“We’re proud that Molineux and Wolverhampton is establishing itself as an international sporting venue and we look forward to welcoming the England senior men’s team back to the city for the first time since 1956.

“The people of Wolverhampton have had to wait a long time to see the team in their city and many of our supporters would have never had the chance to watch the Three Lions at Molineux, so we are thrilled to be hosting these fixtures, as it will be a great occasion for the city, for the club and for supporters.”

England’s Nations League campaign begins on June 4 with a trip to Budapest to play Hungary. England will then take on Germany in Munich on June 7 before returning home for the two matches at Molineux.

The Italy match will take place without fans after UEFA handed the English Football Association (FA) a stadium ban following crowd disorder ahead of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last summer.

The punishment included a second game, which will be suspended for a probationary period of two years, as well as a €100,000 (£83,000/$114,000) fine for the lack of order and discipline inside and around Wembley ahead of the final between England and Italy. The match was marred by ticketless fans illegally forcing their way into Wembley before kick-off.

The most recent competitive home match England played away from Wembley was the Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo in September 2019, which was played at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.

England has also played friendly matches at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, Leicester City’s King Power Stadium, Leeds United’s Elland Road and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in recent years.

The group stages of the Nations League will be completed in September before the World Cup gets underway in Qatar in November.