FA keen for Auld enemies to meet again next season

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The Independent Football

England are set to play Scotland next season for the first time in 11 years, under plans to be discussed this week. Officials of the Football Association and Scottish FA will hold talks about the fixture at the International Football Association Board summit in Northern Ireland next Friday and Saturday.

The countries, who last met in a European Championship play-off in 1999, are eyeing a meeting on either 3 March 2010, or shortly before the World Cup begins on 11 June. Scottish FA spokesman Rob Shorthouse said: “We really want to have the game and there’s a desire on both sides to have it, but we have to fit it into a pretty crowded match schedule. We’re meeting with the FA next week. There’s a commitment on both sides to sit down and sort it out.”

FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said: “There have been informal conversations and we are looking to get the fixture in the diary at some point.”

England versus Scotland is football’s oldest international fixture and staging it would guarantee a bumper share of about £5 million in gate receipts and television income.

Next week’s international board meeting could give the game its biggest shake-up in half a century when voting starts on sin bins, extra substitutes, four assistant referees and 20-minute half-times.

Yellow card sin bins, which were suggested by the Irish FA, would upgrade bookings to temporary red cards as players would spend up to 10 minutes off the pitch. The Scottish FA argue this scheme should be extended to include players who injure others and leave them needing treatment. Guilty players would have to leave the field – even if not booked – until the injured player has recovered or been substituted.

Four memorable clashes

England 9 Scotland 3 (Wembley, 1961)

Jimmy Greaves was running hot and got a hat-trick. Bobby Smith netted a couple, Bobby Robson got one and Johnny Haynes was out of this world. Frank Haffey, in the Scottish goal, came in for a bit of stick afterwards.

England 2 Scotland 3 (Wembley, 1967)

A victory that Scotland claimed made them world champions. England had won the Jules Rimet trophy 12 months earlier but Jim Baxter was peerless as Denis Law, Bobby Lennox and Jim McCalliog netted for the Scots.

England 1 Scotland 2 (Wembley, 1977)

Goals from Gordon McQueen and Kenny Dalglish were overshadowed by a post-match Tartan Army pitch invasion which resulted in the crossbar being infamously snapped.

England 2 Scotland 0 (Wembley, 1996)

Alan Shearer makes it 1-0 before Gary McAllister misses a penalty as the ball mysteriously moves on the spot. Paul Gascoigne then produces a great goal, dinking the ball over Colin Hendry and volleying in.