It’s been 32 years since the last football Home Nations – ‘British Home Championship’ (BHC) as it was known - was played in Britain.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland made up the historic championship. It started in 1884 and ended in 1984, with England ruling the roost with the most wins (54 in total).
It was hosted every year and was only abandoned for 11 seasons of its 100-year history because of the two World Wars.
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So wouldn’t it be great if it was re-established?
IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR RUGBY…
We’ve seen how great the Six Nations is, and although France and Italy compete, it’s generally a home nation who come away with the prestigious RBS Six Nations Trophy (again, England hold the most wins with 27 titles to their name).
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Every year, great support is shown across each of the home countries for their teams, chanting, singing and friendly banter is had between supporters. Rugby is the perfect example of how sports fans should behave.
Regardless of the result, everyone has a good time, people stand shoulder to shoulder and the pride shown by the fans is something to behold.
So with football being our biggest sport in the UK, and all over the world as a whole, why shouldn't we have the championships that would ultimately celebrate the home of football.
THE QUALITY IN ALL THE TEAMS IS INCREASING
Now might be the right time to do it too. The level at which the current home nation teams are playing their football is growing. Four of the five are playing at Euro 2016 and competing to a high standard.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all picked up one win each whilst Ireland (Republic) were unlucky to only draw their opening game against Sweden due to an own goal by Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark.
Even Scotland, who didn’t make it to Euro 2016, came fourth in their group with four wins, three defeats and three draws. Their 1-0 win over Ireland in the 2014 Euro qualifying game showed signs of their potential.
The players also in each squad have qualities that could bode well in a home nation tournament. England have an exciting team of youngsters displayed on the Euro stage this summer, whilst Wales have Ben Davies and Ashley Williams in addition to Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
Northern Ireland have fighters in Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Stuart Dallas whereas their Republic neighbours have experience in John O’Shea, Robbie Keane and Jonathan Walters so all appear ready to compete with each other.
THE HOME OF FOOTBALL DESERVES AN EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION WITH ITS CLOSEST NATIONS AGAIN
It had pitch invasions, it had drama and it had heart. Everything football should be.
It’s important to be proud of our home nations' achievements and many will be cheering on our bordering neighbours during Euro 2016 providing we don’t draw each other.
The passion shown by the fans for each team should be enough reason for the Football Associations from each country to get together and re-create the British Home Championship, with the Republic of Ireland now included.
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