Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Internationals unlikely to be regular fixture

The FA has suggested it is unlikely to resurrect the Home Nations tournament on a permanent basis, instead looking to reinstate the tournament to celebrate its 150th birthday.

New sponsors Vauxhall are said to be eager to have the competition on a yearly basis but the FA have now moved quash any speculation surrounding the tournament.

General Secretary Alex Horne says the governing body is still in talks with the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FA’s about hosting the tournament in 2013 to celebrate the FA’s landmark anniversary. He said: “We’re talking to the home nations about a possible one-off round of matches with them.”

"I think we’d be talking about a series of one-off matches in 2013 to mark our 150th anniversary (rather than a regular tournament). He added.

The Home Nations was a regular fixture in the international until 1984, where a combination of falling attendances, crowd trouble and the emergence of the World Cup and European Championships put paid to the tournament.

A smaller 4 Nations tournament has been organised between every Home Nation country and the Republic of Ireland except for England in 2011, to be hosted in Dublin. The existence of this tournament is not said to be a threat to any future Home Nation’s tournament.

Vauxhall are now hoping to tie up sponsor deals with the remaining Home Nation sides to ensure the completion goes ahead on a regular basis. Both the Scottish and Welsh governing bodies have expressed an interest in reviving the tournament and football bets will be placed in favour of a return of the once popular competition by fans.

England boss Fabio Capello has also hinted he would welcome the return of the tournament and football betting would likely see his side installed as favourites were the tournament to go ahead.

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