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England to host new annual women's four-nation tournament

England to host new annual women's four-nation tournament
© Reuters
The Lionesses will be joined by Germany and Spain next year, with another team still to be confirmed.

England will host a new invitational four-nation tournament each year starting in February 2022, the Football Association has announced.

The Lionesses will be joined by Germany and Spain in the inaugural event, with the fourth team still to be confirmed.

The tournament – which has been created and will be delivered by long-term FA partner Pitch International, a London-based sports marketing agency, through to at least 2025 – will see three double-header matches played across seven days in a round-robin format.

Venues for the games will be announced in the coming weeks, with the fixtures set to provide Sarina Wiegman’s squad top-class opposition in the build up towards hosting Euro 2022 on home soil and the women’s World Cup in 2023.

The FA’s director of women’s football Baroness Sue Campbell said: “This exciting new addition to the international calendar promises to further accelerate the rapid growth we are already seeing in women’s football.

“Giving England fans the opportunity to see their team take on some of the best opposition in the world on an annual basis will create substantial interest, leading to a broader fanbase and strengthening grassroots participation.

“It will also provide the England team with the best preparation heading into the major tournaments over the next four years.”

Wiegman said when asked about the tournament at a press conference on Thursday: “Of course I’m excited. It’s in England, so that’s exciting.

“You want to prepare for the Euros as good as possible and you want to have good opponents. The World Cup qualification and the preparation for the Euros are mixing up, so it’s good to play against world-class teams in February. I’m really delighted we can play.”

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