From 1880 on, football began to expand through the UK and friendly matches between England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were held regularly. These matches were played under slightly different rules since the home team would choose their own rules for the encounter. However, in 1882, the four football associations in the UK created the International Football Association Board (IFAB), aiming at adopting a unified regulation.
The new regulation was the basis for the development of the first national team tournament in history: the British Home Championship. In the 1948-1949 season, England started out as favourite after having won the previous two times. The might of the English seemed to be confirmed in the first game of the tournament after defeating Ireland 2-6.
Rest of the world: