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England! England!

Should The Home Internationals Return?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 23/06/2007

ENGLAND have been offered a last chance to join in a new home international championship. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have already agreed and the Republic of Ireland will make up the fourth team.

If England decline the invitation they will form what will be known as the Celtic Cup.

Irish FA president Jim Boyce said; "It is at a very advanced stage. We are very hopeful it will go ahead. I personally would love England to come into it as well and they will be invited to do so again. But if not, then we will press ahead with the Celtic Cup idea."

The Guardian reports that the FA is very unlikely to respond positively to the invitation. The home internationals would be held every two years but the FA is more keen to keep the friendly dates open to play other European, and non-European, nations.

Boyce said the new tournament would have its own sponsors and television rights revenue. He added: "You can see from the success of the World Cup qualifiers involving England, Northern Ireland and Wales how attractive this competition would be."

Those of us who can remember the home internationals might be in favour even though they ended partly because of the crowd hooliganism and trouble particularly at the England Scotland games.

But that was at the time when hooliganism was a major problem at football matches which is not the case today. Although there are still elements who see football matches as a battleground, times have changed and the UK are not the worst in this respect whatever the foreign media would have you believe.

Personally, I would love to see the home internationals revived. But those who have never had the experience of being there, may think differently.

What do you think? Should we bring them back?

Answers on the Message Board.

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