2011 Nations Cup
The 2011 Nations Cup (also known as the Carling Nations Cup for sponsorship reasons) was the round-robin football tournament between the Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales national teams.
|Host country||Republic of Ireland|
|Dates||8 February – 29 May 2011|
|Champions||Republic of Ireland (1st title)|
|Fourth place||Northern Ireland|
|Goals scored||18 (3 per match)|
|Attendance||74,867 (12,478 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Robbie Keane (3)|
The first set of two games were played in Dublin in February, with the remaining four games played in May 2011. It was won by the Republic of Ireland, who won all three of their games without conceding a goal.
The tournament was initially proposed by then Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez in 2006. 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. 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.
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. 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. After the first tournament, which attracted some small attendances, there was a dispute about the division of revenues between the four associations. Jim Shaw, the president of the Irish Football Association, said in January 2012 that he did not envisage a second tournament being staged.
The 2011 Nations Cup began in February 2011 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. 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. It was originally intended to be a biennial tournament, but poor attendance at the first tournament meant that it was discontinued.
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. Three of the teams involved (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) had formerly competed in the now defunct British Home Championship, along with England. 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.
In early 2011, it was reported by BBC Sport that there was a possibility of the British Home Championship being revived in 2013, but 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. Brittany also expressed an interest in taking part.
The newly rebuilt Aviva Stadium was chosen to host all six games of the 2011 tournament.
|1||Republic of Ireland||3||3||0||0||9||0||+9||9|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored;
All times are local.
Republic of Ireland v WalesEdit
|Republic of Ireland||3–0||Wales|
Northern Ireland v ScotlandEdit
Republic of Ireland v Northern IrelandEdit
|Republic of Ireland||5–0||Northern Ireland|
Keane 37', 54' (pen.)
Cathcart 45' (o.g.)
Wales v ScotlandEdit
|Earnshaw 36'||Report||Morrison 55'
Wales v Northern IrelandEdit
Republic of Ireland v ScotlandEdit
|Republic of Ireland||1–0||Scotland|
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Christophe Berra
- Kris Commons
- Simon Cox
- Damien Duff
- Keith Fahey
- Darron Gibson
- James McArthur
- James Morrison
- Aaron Ramsey
- Stephen Ward
- 1 goal (own goal)
The Football Association of Ireland was criticised by the media, supporters and other football associations for setting high ticket prices. The 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium was less than half-full for all of the games. The game between Wales and Northern Ireland was attended by only 529 fans, many of whom were Scots who happened to be in Dublin for their country's game two days later.
During the game between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Republic fans booed "God Save the Queen", and Northern Ireland fans booed the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, as she greeted players before the game. Northern Ireland fans were criticised for singing sectarian chants at games. Scotland fans also booed "God Save the Queen", when playing Northern Ireland.
Wales manager Gary Speed criticised the tournament organisers for scheduling Wales' games to be within three days of each other, the only team to suffer such timing. He also criticised the officiating in the game against Scotland, in which in his opinion several fouls on Welsh players went unpunished.
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- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/7623975.stm Celtic nations to play 2011 event.
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- Scotland could compete in new Celtic Nations Cup in Brittany.
- "Carling Nations Cup announces broadcast partnership with Sky Sports 3D". fai.ie. Football Association of Ireland. 17 December 2001. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- "Norn Iron fans set to stage Aviva boycott". JOE.ie. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
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- "Anger at Sectarian songs after NI game". UTV. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- Murray, Euan (9 February 2011). "Scotland sweep aside Northern Ireland in Nations Cup". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Wales manager Gary Speed condemns Charlie Adam's challenge". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
- "Wales are Carling Cup 'poor relations' says Gary Speed". BBC News. BBC. 25 May 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.