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Old 26th November 2007, 11:39   #1
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Default Cash for Home Internationals

Cash for Home Internationals
By Richard Bright
Telegraph 26/11/2007

Nationwide have thrown their weight behind the possible revival of the Home International Championships by offering an annual prize of 500,000 - with the hope the competition will get under way in May.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have all made optimistic noises about taking part in a tournament which was once a regular part of the football calendar and which would also involve England.

The failure of the quartet to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals has paved the way for a reintroduction of the four-team competition at the end of the current campaign. The building society sponsor all four nations and their head of sponsorship, Chris Hull, confirmed: "We would be thrilled to launch a Nationwide Home Nations Cup.

"The winners would receive 250,000, the runners-up 100,000 and the third- and fourth-placed teams 75,000. We would ask for all prize money to be donated to charity.

"Even the Prime Minister seems to be in favour of a return to the competition. It's something the majority of football fans in the UK are eager to see happen and is a competition which has generated so much passion and heritage over the years.

"As none of the four Home Nations teams have qualified for Euro 2008, there will be no competitive matches until the autumn of next year when qualifying starts for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"Internationals between the four home nations were part of the football calendar for more than 100 years, but in the last 20 years the opportunity for the countries to play each other has been extremely limited.

"When they have been played, the interest in these matches has been incredible.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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