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Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

FA says home internationals would be 'one-off'


FA backs home internationals in 2013

The English Football Association said it is in talks with other home nations to play a one-off tournament in 2013.

But it does not want to revive the home international tournament, which involved England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, on a regular basis.

The FA is investigating the proposal as part of its 150th anniversary.

"We're talking to the home nations about a possible one-off round of matches with them," said FA general secretary Alex Horne.

"I think we'd be talking about a series of one-off matches in 2013 to mark our 150th anniversary."

The last home international tournament took place in 1984, exactly one hundred years after the first championship took place.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus the Republic of Ireland, are due to take part in the Carling Nations Cup in February and May this year.

Alistair M - BBC Sport

It was thought that the FA's new sponsorship deal with Vauxhall, who are also sponsoring all the other home nations, might encourage England to enter a yearly tournament.

And, despite suggesting 2013 would be a one-off, Horne admitted discussions were at an early stage and did not entirely rule out the prospect of a regular tournament in the future depending on whether the event in two years' time is a success.

"What I don't want to do is determine a footballing strategy for future management," Horne told BBC Radio 5 live.

"The reality of preparing for qualifiers that we face for the European Championship and the World Cup mean that managers rightly want to experience different playing styles, and fans want to experience different playing styles, and we only have a limited number of friendly matches available.

"So I wouldn't want to commit to a resurgence of a tournament, but as a one-off it has real merit and I think we should take it a step at a time. It's still early days in the conversations at the moment."

England are due to face Wales twice as part of their Euro 2012 qualification campaign, with their first game in Cardiff on 26 March.

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see also
FA in Vauxhall sponsorship deal
11 Jan 11 |  Business
Who would a home championship benefit?
11 Jan 11 |  Football
Home Championship set to return
10 Jan 11 |  Football
Vauxhall to be England sponsors
05 Jan 11 |  Football

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