Nations Cup (football)

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Nations Cup (football)
Nations Cup (football) logo.jpg
Founded 2009
Region Europe (UEFA)
Number of teams 4
Current champions  Republic of Ireland
Most successful team(s)  Republic of Ireland (1 title)
Television broadcasters Sky Sports

The Nations Cup[1] (also called 4 Associations' Tournament or Celtic Cup)[1][2][3] was an association football tournament involving the national teams of Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It was contested once, in 2011. It was originally intended to be a biennial tournament, but poor attendance at the first tournament meant that it was discontinued.

History[edit]

The tournament was initially proposed by then Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez in 2006.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

It was announced on 12 August 2010 that the tournament would be sponsored by brewing company Carling, and known for sponsorship reasons as the Carling Nations Cup.[1][7] The inaugural tournament was played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in February and May 2011, and won by the Republic of Ireland. A second tournament was provisionally scheduled to take place in Wales in 2013.[8] After the first tournament, which attracted some small attendances, there was a dispute about the division of revenues between the four associations.[8] Jim Shaw, the president of the Irish Football Association, said in January 2012 that he did not envisage a second tournament being staged.[8]

Format[edit]

The Nations Cup was 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.[1][2] Three of the teams involved (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) had formerly competed in the now defunct British Home Championship, along with England.[4] The Football Association of Wales stated its belief in 2007 that England might have joined at a later date if they could have been convinced that there were "practical solutions" to problems like fixture congestion.[9] In early 2011, it was reported by BBC Sport that there was a possibility of the British Home Championship being revived in 2013,[10][11] however no tournament was held. The matches in the 2011 tournament were played in February and May, with the location due to rotate on a tournament-by-tournament basis.[12] Brittany also expressed an interest in taking part.[13]

Results[edit]

The 2011 Nations Cup began in February 2011 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.[2][14][15] 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.

Year Hosts Champions Second Third Fourth
2011  Republic of Ireland  Republic of Ireland  Scotland  Wales  Northern Ireland

Top goalscorers[edit]

Year Top scorer Goals
2011 Republic of Ireland Robbie Keane 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Forbes, Craig (13 August 2010). "England no great loss to Nations Cup, says Burley". Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 4 ASSOCIATIONS’ TOURNAMENT IN DUBLIN 2011". FAW. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Dates announced for 4 Associations' Tournament in Dublin 2011". FAI. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Sanchez wants Celtic tournament". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 December 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/7623975.stm Celtic nations to play 2011 event.
  6. ^ "'Four Nations' plan faces delay". BBC Sport. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "Carling to sponsor new Four Nations Football Tournament". FAI.ie (Football Association of Ireland). 12 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "Northern Ireland set to pull out of Nations Cup". BBC Sport (BBC). 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Home internationals resurrection edges a step closer". The Guardian (UK). 22 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  10. ^ Slater, Matt (10 January 2011). "Vauxhall tie-ins herald return for British Championship". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "FA says home internationals will be 'one-off'". BBC Sport. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Celtic Cup given go-ahead". FIFA.com (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). 11 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Scotland could compete in new Celtic Nations Cup in Brittany.
  14. ^ "Celtic nations to play 2011 event". BBC Sport. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008. 
  15. ^ "Nations Cup revives memories of banter, blood and thunder". BBC News. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 

External links[edit]