Celtic Nations To Hold New Football Tournament
The football associations for Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have agreed to participate in a new Four Nations Tournament starting in 2011. The opening tournament will feature six matches. Whichever team is at top of the standing will be declared the winner.
There will be one notable country absent at the Four Nations Tournament.
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.