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Brazil friendly helps mark FA anniversary

England will face Brazil in a Wembley friendly to mark the start of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations next year.

The FA has announced that the five-time World Cup winners will play Roy Hodgson's team on Wednesday February 6, with England making a return visit to Brazil to play two games that summer.

A further friendly against Republic of Ireland, making their first visit to the new Wembley, will take place on May 29, while a match against Scotland has already been lined up in August.

"We're delighted Brazil will kick-off the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations at Wembley," Club England managing director Adrian Bevington was quoted as saying on the FA website.

"2013 is a landmark year for the FA and an exciting England fixture programme, in addition to Wembley hosting the UEFA Champions League Final, will form a key part of the celebrations."

He said it was "fantastic" that the celebrations were beginning against "the most successful footballing nation with great players and supporters".

"We also look forward to hosting Republic of Ireland and Scotland at Wembley next year. These matches are sure to evoke great passion among supporters," he added.

He said the fixtures in Brazil, with Uruguay possible opponents in the second game, had been planned as part of preparations for the 2014 World Cup, "subject to qualification".

"Our players do not have any experience of playing in South America, and it will undoubtedly be beneficial for the team to travel and play in Brazil" he said. "We negotiated our qualifying schedule with a specific view to allowing this."

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