St Mary's Stadium Set To Host England Again
Wednesday, 3rd Apr 2019 09:27
Saints are set to get a Full England International fixture at St Mary's Stadium for the second time later this year.
Time flies by and it has been almost 17 years since England played Macedonia at St Mary's in October 2002, but that 19th anniversary without a second fixture looks set not to arrive with England intending hosting Kosovo at the ground on September 10th.
The FA have confirmed that the game will not be held at Wembley and have apparently submitted an application to hold the game at St Mary's to UEFA to hold it down here.
That approval should be a formality and it will be a major coup for Saints as this will be the first competitive fixture that the Three Lions have played away from Wembley since 2006 when they ironically played Macedonia at Old Trafford.
England are keen to get the England team on the road again as they did in the early part of this century whilst Wembley was being rebuilt and last year they played at both Ellland Road in Leeds and the King Power in Leicester, but these were both friendlies.
But there is also method in their madness, they are aware that if played at Wembley this fixture would not attract anywhere near a full house and the cost of using Wembley for a fixture played in a half empty stadium may be near outweighing the income generated.
For Southampton it is an honour to have the fixture played at St Mary's both for the club and the City although probably the only people not happy will be the Police who will have a logistical nightmare in trying to ensure the game goes off without trouble.
Wembley is a neutral venue and therefore there does not tend to be the tribal nature in terms of club support, also England fans tend to know what pubs to use etc, but when England games have been played at neutral venues it is different with no real demarcation of pubs etc leading to clashes between supporters of rival English teams.
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