Arooj (arooj) wrote in ontd_football,

There is a God! Heskey retires from international football.

• Striker won 62 caps and scored seven goals
• Last match was 4-1 defeat by Germany


The Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has retired from international football. The 32-year-old, who made his England debut as a replacement against Hungary in April 1999, won 62 caps and scored seven goals.

Heskey said: "I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride every time I have been fortunate enough to have been selected.

"I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the Football Association and the fans for all their support over the years. I wish the management team and the playing squad all the best for the future."

Heskey played at three World Cups and two European Championships. At this summer's World Cup in South Africa he played in all four of England's matches, starting the draws with USA and Algeria and appearing as a substitute against Slovenia and in the 4-1 defeat by Germany that ended England's involvement in the competition.


FA Cup replays may be dropped to accommodate winter break

• Proposal forms part of plans to revitalise FA Cup
• Fabio Capello believes break would benefit England

Fabio Capello 

The growing clamour for a winter break to benefit the England team could be answered by the Football Association dropping FA Cup replays, according to one idea under consideration that is gaining support from within the game.

The proposal to axe replays is one of a series of radical ideas being considered by an FA committee looking into ways to revitalise the 139-year-old competition but is being seized upon as the possible solution to the debate over a winter break.

Successive England managers – Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and now Fabio Capello – have called for a winter break in the belief that the debilitating Premier League season leaves players physically and mentally drained by the time major tournaments come around. Before the World Cup Wayne Rooney added his voice to the growing number of players backing the idea.

The FA's main board meets today for the first time since Capello's team crashed out of the World Cup against Germany, sparking a debate about the future of the England team. Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman who is also chairman of Club England and sits on the FA board, will report back on the ill-fated campaign. The idea of a winter break is not believed to be on the initial agenda but could be raised.

The Premier League has historically been unwilling to countenance the idea of a winter break, arguing that there is no slack in a congested fixture calendar. But it is understood that if the FA were to propose dropping replays it would be willing to negotiate. The decision would have to be voted on by the 20 Premier League clubs, with a two-thirds majority required. If replays were abandoned it would free up a midweek slot that could accommodate a full round of league matches and allow a two-week winter break. Any changes would not be implemented until the 2011-12 season.

There would also be concerns that doing away with replays might impact on the FA's broadcasting deals and hit smaller clubs who benefit from money-spinning replays against larger rivals. Premier League clubs, meanwhile, would want binding assurances that the FA would not seek to fill the gap with a lucrative Wembley friendly. There would also be issues to be overcome with the Premier League's broadcasting partners and sponsors

Tags: club: aston villa, fabio capello, goodbye and good riddance, huh huh huh, league: english premier league (epl), nt: england, oh god please yes, prayer, unbridled joy

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