FA gear up for revival of home internationals

11 January 2011 08:30

The Football Association are due to unveil Vauxhall as the new England sponsors in a deal which could revive the home internationals tournament.

The car giant has signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal and are poised to complete further deals with the national associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the next week.

Vauxhall are understood to have been the key movers behind a planned revival of the home internationals. They want it in place as soon as next season and although the FA are in talks over the move, they want to wait until after Euro 2012 is out of the way.

Meanwhile, the FA have confirmed that England will play top African side Ghana in a friendly at Wembley on March 29 but a planned friendly against Thailand in June has been scrapped.

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 at the 2010 World Cup and would have reached the semi-finals had Asamoah Gyan not missed a last-minute extra-time 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 Thailand match was tied in to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup 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."

Source: PA