Irish FA chief Jim Shaw says Nations Cup was a one-off

The future of the Carling Nations Cup  is in doubt following reports Northern Ireland are set to pull out of it.

The Nations Cup, which also includes Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, suffered from poor attendances and a row over competition fees at last year's inaugural tournament.

Irish FA president Jim Shaw is now reported to have said that Northern Ireland will opt out of the tournament.

"It was a one-off to start with," Shaw told the Sunday Times.

"There was never any agreement to continue. I suppose if it had gone well there is the possibility that it could have been repeated.

"I don't envisage it happening again but circumstances can change."

A second Nations Cup has been provisionally scheduled to take place in Wales in 2013.

Carling Nations Cup facts

  • Inaugural tournament played in 2011 with NI, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales participating
  • Competition suffered from low attendances with only 529 spectators at the NI v Wales game at the Aviva Stadium
  • NI weakened by squad pull-outs for the games against Republic and Wales in May
  • Subsequent row between the Scottish FA and three other associations over fees

But, at the inaugural tournament in Dublin, some Northern Ireland fans boycotted games because of their anger over the Republic of Ireland selecting Northern Ireland-born players.

Northern Ireland were also forced to field weakened teams in the games against the Republic and Wales in May after a number of first-choice players opted out of the tournament.

Only 529 spectators attended Northern Ireland's game against Wales at the Aviva Stadium and, since the competition, the Scottish FA has become embroiled in a dispute with the Republic, Northern Irish and Welsh counterparts over competition fees.

The Scottish body said it is owed £1.2m for their team's participation in last year's competition, and negotiations are said to be ongoing.

Last month, the two Irish governing bodies and the Welsh FA said they had "been in negotiations with the Scottish FA seeking a downward adjustment of their fee".

They added this was "to give a more equitable share of the profits".

The tournament took place in February and May and was won by the Republic of Ireland  , Scotland finishing second.