England announce 150th anniversary celebration friendlies
Published : 12 Sep 2012 12:47:21Rss feed
England will launch the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations with matches against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland next year.
Five-times World Cup winners Brazil will visit Wembley in February as part of a two-match arrangement that will see England head to South America for a short tour in June.
Immediately before that, the Three Lions will take on the Republic of Ireland for the first time since their abandoned fixture in Dublin 17 years ago.
While the February 6 encounter with Brazil is bound to be attractive, given the South Americans were recently in the UK for the Olympics and played Team GB just before, arguably the Irish match on May 29 is of more significance.
Certainly, Wembley is likely to be full given the interest there is bound to be from the Irish fans in their side's first visit to the stadium since 1991.
For the FA, the high-profile fixtures are in keeping with the rest of their 150th anniversary celebrations.
A match against Scotland has already been confirmed for August, with another fixture planned - possibly against Uruguay - next summer.
The FA have already assured Premier League bosses their players will be back in England by June 11, when World Cup qualifying games will still be being played elsewhere.
Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said: "We're delighted Brazil will kick-off the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations at Wembley.
"2013 is a landmark year for The FA and an exciting England fixture programme in addition to Wembley hosting the UEFA Champions League Final will form a key part of the celebrations."