England accept French offer

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The Independent Online
England will play in a four-nation tournament against France, Italy and probably Brazil in the run-up to the 1998 World Cup.

An invitation from the French football federation to play in the event in the summer of 1997 has been accepted by the Football Association even though England will meet Italy in their final World Cup qualifier in Rome the following October.

The event will use Parc des Princes in Paris and the stadiums in Lens, Nantes, Lyon and Montepellier which will be used in the finals.

The draw for the finals will be staged in December next year at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille. All previous World Cup draws had been held indoors but the French want to do something different to allow fans and children to take part. The draw for the 32 finalists would be held either before or during an extended half-time of a big match.

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