BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
 
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 February, 2005, 14:32 GMT
Home Internationals unlikely - FA
By Clive Lindsay

Howard Wells
It would be hugely interesting to sponsors
Howard Wells
IFA chief executive
Plans to resurrect the Home Internationals could founder because of a crowded fixture list, the English Football Association has warned.

Northern Ireland will raise the possibility at the next meeting of the four home associations.

But FA executive director David Davies told BBC Sport: "In principle, we have absolutely no objection.

"But the issue is where on earth we can sit games like that into the international calendar?"

The Scottish FA has also welcomed in principle the Irish Football Association's idea of a knockout competition involving England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

And the Republic of Ireland could even be invited to take part, should England decline.

Competitive games are of more attractive than friendlies
Scottish FA chief executive David Taylor
The Home International series saw the four nations that make up the UK play each other once a season in a league basis until it was scrapped in 1984.

Fixture congestion, a drop in public interest, fan violence and domination by England were arguments against the competition at the time.

"Some of us have tremendous memories of the Home International championships, especially some great games between Scotland and England," added Davies.

"But the practicalities of it are very difficult as there are fewer friendly dates than ever before.

"And this season we are not playing on 4 and 8 June as we wanted - to give our players a decent summer break."

Scottish FA chief executive David Taylor thought that bringing England on board would be the biggest hurdle.

"The basic principle is that competitive games are of more attractive than friendlies, so this would be of interest," he said.

"Circumstances have changed from 20 years ago but the key to this is England.

"It would be a shame if the world's oldest international fixture, between Scotland and England, could not be played again."

Northern Ireland's new football chief executive, Howard Wells, met Taylor at the Under-21 international between their countries in Belfast on Tuesday.

They had been due to meet at full international level but new Scotland manager Walter Smith instead decided to hold a relaxed get-together with his squad.

Wells has more talks scheduled with Davies and hopes to raise the matter at the next meeting of the four home countries on 27 February.

"I hope there is going to be an open mind about it," Wells told The Herald newspaper.

"It would be hugely interesting to sponsors."

He admits that England are the main obstacle.

"They've got more pressure from clubs in terms of fixture congestion," Wells admitted.

"That's always a problem and a bit of a whinge I think in the English game.

"That's not to say we couldn't discuss things.

"I'm conscious of the fact standards have dropped in some of those countries and the more we can do to promote competition the better."





SEE ALSO



E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs

MMIX

Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Other Sport...

Video and Audio | Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | TV/Radio Schedule

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | Photo Galleries

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport