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England band leader was 'unaware' of anti-IRA chant

England's band follow the team everywhere. Credit: PA

The leader of England's band was "unaware" of anti-IRA chants from England fans inside Celtic Park on Tuesday.

The FA were forced to contact the band during last night's international friendly between Scotland and England to prevent them from assisting with the offensive chant.

John Hemmingham, who formed England's band 21 years ago, told Press Assocation:

"We were absolutely not aware of it. All the fans around us were singing ’Follow England Away’. It was only when a band member saw on Twitter that some people were saying we were playing anti-IRA songs that we became aware. Then we immediately stopped and played something else.”

England announce Germany and France friendlies

England were beaten by Germany at Wembley in 2013. Credit: PA

England will play glamour friendlies against world champions Germany and France in the build-up to Euro 2016.

The Football Association announced on Wednesday that the Three Lions will host France on November 17 next year, and it also confirmed England will play a friendly in Germany in March 2016.

Negotiations are also under way regarding potential pre-Euro 2016 friendlies against Holland and Spain.

The FA has already announced fixtures against Italy for March next year and a fixture against the Republic of Ireland at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on June 7.


Hodgson angry over Wembley NFL matches

England manager Roy Hodgson admits to being unhappy over Wembley being used for NFL days before his side play Slovenia there.

Jacksonville Jaguars play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, with Hodgson's men in action on the following Saturday.

The former Liverpool boss is deeply concerned by the effect the American football match will have on the surface.

Wembley recently hosted two other NFL games. Credit: PA

"I can't pretend that is something that makes me leap for joy," Hodgson said.

"If I was asked if it was a good thing or not, I would have to say not.

"I don't really think you could expect me to say 'excellent, delighted, well done'.

"The pitch, unfortunately, is not in the best of nick anyway, which we're all a bit unhappy with."

Horne to quit FA after 11 years

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has announced he is to leave the organisation at the end of January.

Horne joined the FA in 2004 as finance director and, in 2006, was appointed Wembley Stadium's managing director.

He became the FA's chief operating officer in July 2008 and was a leading figure in the St George's Park National Football Centre development.

Horne took up his current post in 2010.

"After 11 fantastic years I have decided to look for a change of direction and I will be leaving the FA at the end of January," he told Press Association Sport.

NFL boss open to Wembley franchise idea

Oakland Raiders played at Wembley earlier this year. Credit: PA

The prospect of an NFL franchise to be based at London's Wembley Stadium will be explored in detail, the sport's UK chief has said.

England football matches could be taken around the country again from 2018 if the Football Association secures the NFL franchise for Wembley.

Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK, told BBC Radio Five Live: "Moving from one game to three games in a couple of years is a sign of real momentum and fan growth.

"We are going to have a look at seeing if we can grow from that over the next couple of years and see where we go from there.

"We're very interested in exploring the idea of a British-based franchise and seeing if we can pull it off. That's the way of making our sport much more mainstream."


The FA confirm Hull City name change appeal

Hull fans are strongly opposed to any name change. Credit: PA

The Football Association has confirmed that Hull City will appeal the FA Council's decision to reject an application to change the Premier League club's name.

In a statement, the FA revealed that Hull City have "chosen to commence an arbitration under Rule K of the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association to challenge the decision of The FA Council."

Although FA rules state that any such challenges must remain confidential, they have decided to confirm the arbitration "in the interests of the supporters" and promised to make a further announcement once a decision has been reached.

In April 2014, the FA Council rejected an application from Hull City owner Assem Allam to change the club's name to Hull Tigers.

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