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Vauxhall named IFA sponsor

Vauxhall completed a hat-trick of sponsorship deals when they were announced as the new title sponsor of Northern Ireland.

The car manufacturer has signed a three-and-a-half year agreement with the Irish Football Association to add to similar deals with the England and Welsh FAs this week.

Vauxhall are expected to tie up an agreement with Scotland shortly and are known to be keen for their sponsorship to coincide with a revival of the Home International tournament.

It was confirmed this week that provisional discussions have taken place about a one-off tournament in 2013, the year of the FA's 150th anniversary.

Northern Ireland are competing in the new Carling Nations Cup this year with Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, and their opening fixture against Scotland next month will mark the first senior match under Vauxhall's sponsorship.

The deal also covers the Euro 2012 and 2014 World Cup campaigns as well as the women's national squads and all age-group teams.

Announcing the agreement at Windsor Park, IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson said: "This is truly fantastic news for Northern Ireland football.

"Attracting a sponsor of the calibre and prestige as Vauxhall is great testimony to the progress we are making here."

National team manager Nigel Worthington also welcomed the news, saying: "I'm delighted that Vauxhall are putting their faith in Northern Ireland football."

Vauxhall managing director Duncan Aldred added: "We are delighted to be the new title sponsor of the Irish FA. We are making a big commitment to football and Northern Ireland is an extremely important piece of this commitment."

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