FA in talks over home internationals revival

The Football Association are in talks over a move to revive the home international tournament.

Car giant Vauxhall, due to be unveiled as new England sponsors with a record-breaking deal tomorrow, are understood to have been the key movers behind a planned revival of the home internationals and want it in place as soon as next season.

The return of the tournament would see England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete against each other for the first time since 1984.

The FA have held talks about a new home international tournament but want to wait until after Euro 2012 is out of the way.

Vauxhall are also poised to complete further sponsorships with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the next week as part of a campaign to become the driving force of football across Britain.

England will play top African side Ghana - quarter-finalists in last year's World Cup - in a friendly on March 29 but a planned friendly against Thailand in June has been scrapped.

The announcement that the Thailand match, timed to commemorate the 65th anniversary of King Bhumibol's accession to the Thai throne, has been scrapped comes as no surprise.

The match was tied in to England's 2018 bid but no deal had been signed and following the bid's failure it always looked likely that the FA would look again at the fixture.

Explaining the decision, the FA said: "Although an informal agreement had been reached for a friendly match following the qualifier with Switzerland, no formal details in terms of match date or venue had ever been established and, following discussions by the FA board, it was decided not to go ahead with the fixture."

The meeting with Ghana should prove a tough test for Fabio Capello's side as the Black Stars were the only African side to qualify for the knockout stages and would have reached the semi-finals had Asamoah Gyan not missed a last-minute penalty against Uruguay.

Ghana are well represented in the Premier League, with Gyan and defender John Mensah both playing for Sunderland while Chelsea's Michael Essien and John Pantsil of Fulham are other notable names.

The teams have met before at youth level, with Ghana claiming a crushing 4-0 win over England at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup two years ago.

The Scottish Football Association said they would welcome any discussions which might take place about the revival of a home nations tournament.

An SFA spokesperson said: "We haven't been consulted about any revival of a home nations tournament including England and we haven't been part of any consultation group.

"It is an interesting idea and we would obviously hope to be part of any discussions should the opportunity come along."

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