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England skip new Four Nations tournament

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Sep 2008

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Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – but not England – announced Thursday that their national sides would take part in a new 'Four Associations' tournament in 2011.

The event will be staged in Dublin, with the initial two matches in February and four other fixtures following in May.

Whichever side tops the league table will win the Four Associations Cup.

Significantly, and unlike the old British Home Championship, which was binned in 1984, England are not included in the new competition with the Republic effectively taking their place.

England have rarely been enthusiastic about anything that smacks of a revival of the Home Internationals, which were abandoned following problems with hooliganism, falling attendances for all but the England-Scotland clash, world football's oldest international fixture, and the increasing prominence of the World Cup and European Championships.

“As there are limited international dates for opportunities to play nations from outside Europe, we like to use several dates to play teams from South America, Africa and Asia,” said a spokesman for England's Football Association. “Otherwise the only time we would get to play such countries is restricted to World Cups.

“We have played several fixtures against the home nations since 1999 and our preference is to play one-off games rather than a tournament – if they fit in with the manager's plans.

“Clearly friendly dates – at a premium – are important to the manager as preparation for qualifying matches and tournaments.

“Due to this, we regularly try to select opponents who will help prepare the team for the style we are likely to face.”

Scotland manager George Burley was, however, enthused by the new tournament and said he hoped for more fixtures against England.

“We will have two games and that will be exciting.

“I am sure the people of the Republic will be looking forward to that and the Tartan Army will be out in force.”

Burley added: “We have held preliminary talks with England because we would like to play them.

“Hopefully, in the next couple of years we will be able to arrange a friendly with them but there's nothing at the minute.”

John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, added: “We are delighted to host the Four Associations tournament.

“This will be the first time Ireland has hosted a senior international tournament and the atmosphere around Dublin will be tremendous, especially with thousands of visiting supporters from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland expected to travel for the matches.

“The tournament will be a fitting celebration for our fantastic new stadium (Dublin's rebuilt Lansdowne Road) which is on schedule for completion in 2010.”

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  • Patrick

    0 0

    England won’t participate in the tournament because Ireland and Scotland have the capability of beating theam and thety are too afraid of the embarrasment, Scotland and Ireland being rivals to the English off the field as well as on.

  • Patrick

    0 0

    England won’t participate in the tournament because Ireland and Scotland have the capability of beating theam and thety are too afraid of the embarrasment, Scotland and Ireland being rivals to the English off the field as well as on.

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