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One-hit wonder: Carling Nations Cup set to be abandoned

IFA President Jim Shaw has said that he does not envisage the home nations tournament happening again.

Poor show: Last year's Carling Nations Cup was plagued by poor attendance figures.
Poor show: Last year's Carling Nations Cup was plagued by poor attendance figures.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

POOR ATTENDANCES AND pay disputes appear to have derailed the Carling Nations Cup, with Irish Football Association president Jim Shaw signalling that Northern Ireland are unlikely to take part in future renewals of the Home Nations tournament.

The Republic of Ireland won last year’s inaugural tournament, staged in front of small crowds at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, and were expected to defend their title at a second Nations Cup pencilled in for Wales in 2013.

But speaking to yesterday’s Sunday Times, Shaw said that the tournament had not been sufficiently successful to warrant another staging.

Shaw’s comments come amid an ongoing row between the Scottish FA and the three other associations over fees still owed from last year’s tournament in Dublin. The relationship between the four countries has soured noticeably in recent weeks after the SFA claimed that it was still owed €1.2m and threatened to refer the dispute to FIFA.

“It was a one-off to start with,” Shaw told the Sunday Times. ”There was never any agreement to continue. I suppose if it had gone well there is the possibility that it could have been repeated.

I don’t envisage it happening again but circumstances can change.

The FAI has yet to comment publicly on the future of the tournament but speaking to today’s Irish Examiner, an FAI figure indicated that all four associations were “thinking along the same lines” as Northern Ireland.

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Niall Kelly

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