England Announce Fixtures Against Italy and Scotland

Saturday, 16, June, 2012

Wayne Rooney in action for England

The FA is pleased to announce two high profile friendly fixtures for the senior England team, against Italy later this year and Scotland in 2013.

As part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2013, England have confirmed they will once again play Scotland at Wembley, as they rekindle international football’s oldest rivalry.

The fixture is the first to be confirmed ahead of what will be a spectacular year of blue-chip international matches at Wembley, as well as further events around England to commemorate the landmark year.

The pair will play each other at Wembley on Wednesday 14 August 2013.

Before that England will play Italy in Berne, Switzerland, on Wednesday 15 August 2012. The game will be England’s first after the Euro 2012 tournament, and will act as a good warm-up ahead of the team’s World Cup qualifiers in September against Moldova and Ukraine.

England last played the Azzurri in 2002, losing 2-1 to them at Elland Road.

England manager Roy Hodgson said: “I am privileged to be manager of England at UEFA Euro 2012 and it will be another huge honour to lead our nation out against our oldest rivals. For us, England versus Scotland is one of the finest fixtures in international football and I know what this game means to both sets of supporters.

“It will be a fitting part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations and the supporters, the team and my coaching staff all look forward to welcoming Scotland to Wembley Stadium next year.”

Scotland’s National Team Coach, Craig Levein, believes his squad will relish the challenge of this historic fixture.

He said: “For any Scotland supporter, player or coach, Scotland versus England is the ultimate contest: it really is as good as it gets. I am thrilled that we have reached agreement with The FA to play at Wembley as part of their 150th Anniversary celebrations and I am sure the supporters will be there in their tens of thousands.

“Our match against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in London last year was a tremendous spectacle and I was overwhelmed by the support we had that day. This is an even more mouth-watering prospect for all concerned and the players will be desperate to record another famous victory at Wembley.

“It will also be the best test possible before we resume our FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign next year.”

England and Scotland are international football’s oldest opponents. They met in the first official match ever played.

The original staging of this fixture took place at the ground of the West of Scotland Cricket Club at Partick, near Glasgow, on Saturday, 30 November 1872. In the previous month The FA Committee had formally agreed to send a representative team, “in order to further the interests of The Association in Scotland”.

Bell’s Life saw it as “one of the jolliest, one of the most spirited and most pleasant matches that has ever been played according to Association rules”. There was a crowd of nearly 4,000 and it finished in a 0-0 draw.

The teams have now met on 110 occasions, most recently in 1999 when Scotland won 1-0 in the second leg of a UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying Play-Off at Wembley. England has won 45 times, Scotland 41 times and there have been 24 draws.

Scotland’s ‘Wembley Wizards’ were 5-1 winners in 1928 but an England side managed by Walter Winterbottom thumped the Scots 9-3, also at Wembley, to clinch the British Championship trophy in 1961. A colossal attendance of 149,547, still a British record, saw Scotland win 3-1 at Glasgow’s Hampden Park in 1937.

Further major home international matches are to be confirmed later this year, for 2013, a year in which Wembley will also welcome back the UEFA Champions League Final in May.

Ticket details for these fixtures will be announced on www.TheFA.com in due course.