FA yet to decide summer plans for England

As the ramifications of England's failure to qualify for the European Championship finals become all too apparent, the FA has yet to decide how it will use its spare time next summer.

Whether England will take part in a resurrection of the Home International tournament, revamped as the Celtic Cup, appears to be well down the list of priorities as the governing body searches for a new head coach to replace Steve McClaren.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland, are keen to participate in the new biennial competition, which is due to start in February.

However, even after the realisation that England have a huge void suddenly to fill, the FA appears unready to commit itself.

"At the moment there is no plan B," a spokesman said. "We have no firm plans in place at this stage and there have been no discussions over a Home International tournament."

Brian Barwick, the FA chief executive, made it clear when speaking at an open forum in the Midlands last month that there was little desire within the association to revive the domestic competition, which was last played in 1984.

Instead, the FA could arrange lucrative tours to North and South America or the Far East, where England are enormously popular.

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