1981 British Home Championship

1981 British Home Championship

The 1981 British Home Championship was the only British Home Nations international football championship outside of the years of the First World War and Second World War which was not completed and thus failed to produce a winner. As with the rugby union 1972 Five Nations Championship, the cause of this cancellation was The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The championship was scheduled to be played in May 1981 after the termination of the domestic season. However, on the 5 May, the IRA Hunger strike leader Bobby Sands died in the Maze Prison, invoking a storm of protest and anti-British feeling in the province. Thus the English and Welsh FAs, whose teams were scheduled to travel to Windsor Park later in the month, declined to play thus rendering the tournament incomplete and void. This problem was later cited as a significant contributor to the competition being discontinued in 1984.

Scotland were the only team to complete all their matches, including defeating Northern Ireland in Glasgow, and were in a strong position, having also beaten England. Wales had beaten Scotland and played a tame draw with England and so too would have claimed victory with a win or draw in Belfast. England had lost one and drawn one and were not in a challenging position, whilst the hapless Irish had lost their only game. It is worth noting that five months later, in October 1981, Scotland were able to play a qualifying match for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Northern Ireland without significant difficulties.


The points system worked as follows:
* 2 points for a win
* 1 point for a drawThe teams would then have been divided on goal difference


date = May 16, 1981
team1 = fb-rt|Wales
score = 2–0
team2 = fb|Scotland
goals1 = Ian Walsh 2
goals2 =
stadium = Vetch Field, Swansea
date = May 19, 1981
team1 = fb-rt|Scotland
score = 2–0
team2 = fb|Northern Ireland
goals1 = Ray Stewart, Steve Archibald
goals2 =
stadium = Hampden Park, Glasgow
date = May 20, 1981
team1 = fb-rt|England
score = 0–0
team2 = fb|Wales
goals1 =
goals2 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
date = May 23, 1981
team1 = fb|England
score = 0–1
team2 = fb-rt|Scotland
goals2 = John Robertson (P)
goals1 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London


*cite book
author= Guy Oliver| title=The Guinness Record of World Soccer
id=ISBN 0-851129-54-4

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