The 'near' Home Internationals are back on.

The Carling Nations Cup moved one step closer today (1st October) to its February 2011 kick-off in Dublin with the announcement of the fixtures and dates for the games along with the unveiling of the competition’s logo. The logo incorporates the colours of the four participating nations and highlights Carling’s long association with football throughout the UK and Ireland. 

The Carling Nations Cup will be the first senior international tournament hosted in Ireland and will be played in a league format with six game between the four neighbouring teams with tickets going on sale in November.

Three of the managers of the countries involved (Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) were in Dublin for the announcement that The Carling Nations Cup will kick off on Tuesday February 8, with Scotland’s first game v Northern Ireland taking place on February the 9th. The full list of fixtures are as follows: 


Tuesday February 8
Republic of Ireland v Wales
Wednesday February 9
Northern Ireland v Scotland
Monday May 23
Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland
Tuesday May 24 
Wales v Scotland
Thursday May 26
Wales v  Northern Ireland
Friday May 27
Republic of Ireland v Scotland

Craig Levein, Scotland National Team Manager said: “Now that the schedule has been announced we are really looking forward to our visit to Dublin next year. This exciting new competition brings together four groups of passionate fans and also allows me to test my squad, in a competitive environment, in the middle of our UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign." Nigel Worthington, Northern Ireland manager added: “I am really looking forward to the Carling Nations Cup, as competitive games against our neighbouring countries don’t come around too often. There are bragging rights at stake here, not only for the fans but also for the players as no-one will want to lose against their closest rivals. Northern Ireland is more than capable of winning this tournament and we hope to get off to a good start against Scotland in February.”

Giovanni Trapattoni, Republic of Ireland manager said: “
The Carling Nations Cup is a tournament that we would very much like to win, particularly playing at home in Dublin, but speaking to my colleagues from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland,  I know we are not alone in wanting to claim the trophy.  The matches will provide us with a good opportunity to see our players in games with a real competitive edge at an important time in our bid to qualify for 2012.”

Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive FAW said:
“It will be fantastic to see these games taking place. We can all remember great matches in the past in the Home Internationals, Championship qualifiers and friendlies. I am sure they will be a huge success and we look forward to generating competitive matches but maintaining the friendly rivalry that exists between our respective countries."

Paul Miller, Director of Sales Molson Coors Scotland said: “
Now that the fixtures have been announcement it is sure to fuel excitement amongst the Tartan Army as they finalise plans for Dublin and the inaugural Carling Nations Cup and with four such passionate nations involved we are assured of a tremendous event.”

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