- Nations Cup (football)
Nations Cup (football) Founded 2009 Region Europe (UEFA) Number of teams 4 Current champions Republic of Ireland Most successful team Republic of Ireland (1 title) Television broadcasters Sky Sports
The Nations Cup (also called 4 Associations' Tournament or Celtic Cup) is a biennial international association football tournament involving the national teams of Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The tournament was initially proposed by then Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez in 2006. On 18 September 2008, the national football associations of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland announced plans to hold an international tournament in 2011. It was announced on 12 August 2010 that the tournament will be sponsored by brewing company Carling, and known for sponsorship reasons as the Carling Nations Cup.
The Nations Cup is structured as a round robin, with each team playing each of the others once, resulting in a total of six games in each season of the competition. Three of the teams involved (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) formerly competed in the now defunct British Home Championship, along with England.
The tournament was due to start in 2009, but was delayed until 2011 due to 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures already being in place. Matches are played in February and May, with the location due to rotate on a tournament-by-tournament basis. The first tournament featuring the four teams began in February 2011 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Republic of Ireland won the inaugural tournament after winning all three of their matches, culminating with a 1–0 win over Scotland on the final matchday.
The Football Association of Wales believes that England may join at a later date if they can be convinced that there are "practical solutions" to problems like fixture congestion. In early 2011, it was reported by BBC Sport that the British Home Championship may be revived in 2013. Later indications suggested that England may compete in a one-off tournament in 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of The Football Association.
Year Hosts Champions Second Third Fourth 2011 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
Year Top scorer Goals 2011 Robbie Keane 3
- ^ a b c d Forbes, Craig (13 August 2010). "England no great loss to Nations Cup, says Burley". http://sport.scotsman.com/sport/England-no-great-loss-to.6473273.jp. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- ^ a b c "DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 4 ASSOCIATIONS’ TOURNAMENT IN DUBLIN 2011". FAW. http://www.faw.org.uk/news/1299. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- ^ "Dates announced for 4 Associations' Tournament in Dublin 2011". FAI. http://www.fai.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4128. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- ^ a b "Sanchez wants Celtic tournament". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 December 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6173603.stm. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/7623975.stm Celtic nations to play 2011 event.
- ^ "Carling to sponsor new Four Nations Football Tournament". FAI.ie (Football Association of Ireland). 12 August 2010. http://www.fai.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=101159:carling-to-sponsor-new-four-nations-football-tournament&catid=1:senior-men&Itemid=8. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- ^ "'Four Nations' plan faces delay". BBC Sport. 11 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7342771.stm. Retrieved 11 April 2008.
- ^ "Celtic Cup given go-ahead". FIFA.com (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). 11 April 2008. http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/news/newsid=739412.html. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- ^ "Celtic nations to play 2011 event". BBC Sport. 18 September 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7623975.stm. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
- ^ "Nations Cup revives memories of banter, blood and thunder". BBC News. 10 February 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12406246. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- ^ "Home internationals resurrection edges a step closer". The Guardian (UK). 22 June 2007. http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,2109096,00.html. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- ^ Slater, Matt (10 January 2011). "Vauxhall tie-ins herald return for British Championship". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/9355809.stm. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
- ^ "FA says home internationals will be 'one-off'". BBC Sport. 11 January 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/9357918.stm. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
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