Calls to bring England games back to the Stadium of Light

BACKING: Sunderland fanzine editor Martyn McFadden, below, wants the SoL to host England games.
BACKING: Sunderland fanzine editor Martyn McFadden, below, wants the SoL to host England games.
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THE Stadium of Light could once again stage England games after it was revealed that the Football Association are considering hosting matches away from Wembley,

Wearside has hosted two games in the past 15 years, a friendly with Belgium in 1999 and a European Championship match with Turkey in 2003, both to sell-out crowds.

Martyn McFadden from A Love Supreme has joined the development board of SAFC Foundation

Martyn McFadden from A Love Supreme has joined the development board of SAFC Foundation

The FA is now understood to be considering whether or not to host eight NFL games at Wembley as part of a new franchise, meaning that the England football team would be “on the road” from 2018.

Wembley’s managing director, Roger Maslin, said last year: “Football is our priority.

“But, yes, I’m absolutely confident that if the NFL wanted to have a franchise here then we could absolutely do it.”

At the start of this century, while the £757million new Wembley was being constructed, national teams were staged at different club grounds in England.

Martyn McFadden, of Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme, said: “It worked well when we had England games at the Stadium of Light in the past, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen again.

“At the minute, people from the north and Midlands have to travel a long way to go to Wembley.

“And as Sunderland fans know from playing in the cup final last season, it’s a nightmare to get out of. The Stadium of Light is up there with the best grounds in the business, so it wouldn’t be a problem.” NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood, said: “We’re very interested in exploring the idea of a British-based franchise and seeing if we can pull it off.”