England refuse Madrid friendly

Image: Capello: Requested fixture

England are set to face Spain in a friendly next year but will not play in Madrid as they take a stand against racism.

FA take stand against racism

England are set to face Spain in a friendly next year but will not play in Madrid as they take a stand against racism. A number of England's players were racially abused at the Bernabeu in 2004 and the Football Association are adamant that the game must be staged at a different venue. Fabio Capello requested that England take on the European champions and the match is expected to be played on Wednesday 11th February, the only remaining Fifa international date still to be filled. An official agreement is yet to be reached but FA director of communications Adrian Bevington has revealed that negotiations are taking place. "We are currently in discussions with the Spanish Federation with a view to playing the European Champions in Spain in February," said Bevington. "This fixture is one of the friendly games that Fabio Capello requested to play. But as yet, a venue is still to be confirmed and the contract still to be signed. "However, from the outset, the FA, with Fabio, were clear we would not play the fixture in Madrid due to the incidents of racial abuse we faced last time. "Fabio is totally supportive of this fixture." The FA have vowed to work closely with the Spanish Federation on a number of anti-racism measures before the proposed fixture to make sure that the problem does not simply move from one city to another. With Madrid ruled out, Seville and Valencia would appear the most likely alternatives - although the FA have stressed that no venue is in place, aware that a significant number of fans will want to make their travel arrangements.

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