Football Language: Home nations
When we talk about the home nations or home countries in football we mean the teams that make up the United Kingdom, that’s England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These teams, which were of course the first four international sides to be established, used to play in a tournament known as the Home Internationals at the end of each season. However, the last time that this competition took place was way back in 1984. Sometimes commentators and football writers will include the Republic of Ireland when using the term ‘home nations‘ despite the fact that Ireland is a separate country. For instance, when reporting on the Euro 2016 draw the BBC used the headline: ‘Home nations set to find out opponents‘ and then included information on the Republic of Ireland along with the other four nations.
- Example: Three of the four home nations qualified for the European Championships in France 2016 with only Scotland missing out