A GB Football Team – No Thanks

This evening I will be tabling a Motion in Westminster expressing concern at the unilateral decision of the British Olympic Association and English FA to enter a GB football team in next year’s Olympics without the consent of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FAs.

The motion reads

 INDEPENDENCE OF UK FOOTBALLING ASSOCIATIONS

This House notes the grave concerns expressed by many supporters, players and the Football Associations of Wales (FAW), Scotland (SFA) and Northern Ireland (IFA) following the decision of the British Olympic Association and the English FA to enter a Great Britain football team in next year’s Olympic Games; calls for the British Olympic Association to withdraw the misleading press release that calls the BOA and FA deal an ‘historic agreement’ when three of the four footballing associations remain implacably opposed; believes that a single United Kingdom football representative team playing in the Olympic Games represents a threat to the footballing independence of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland; notes previous attempts from Jack Warner and other FIFA members to merge the four associations; welcomes reassurance from Sepp Blatter that the independence of these footballing nations is not currently under threat but notes widespread media concern, including from many Team GB supporters, about the alleged behaviour of some FIFA officials and does not believe that previous reassurances is sufficient to provide peace of mind which regards to any future consequences which may arise from a Team GB football side representing the four associations, supports the continuation of four independent associations and looks forward to a successful Olympic Games.

Wales’ most capped player (92) and goalkeeping legend Neville Southall explains why this is such a bad idea in the media today.   Quite frankly I couldn’t put it any better.

 “The whole point of going to the Olympics is that special moment when your flag goes up,

“What flag are they going to put up if they win it? [The] Union Jack? It’s not my flag. My flag’s a Dragon.

“As a Welshman I’d rather play for Wales if I was in the Olympics. I would want to go and represent my country.

“I don’t see the point having a Great British team. You will just lose the identity of all the teams.”

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