Monday, 4 August 2008
Only people based in England appear to be in favour of a British Football Team competing at the Olympics.
The English have absolutely no concern that competing in the Olympics could cause Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to lose their status as independent football nations. That would mean Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would no longer be able to compete independently in the European Championships or the World Cup.
Of course, they appear completely oblivious to the fact that England would no longer be able to compete as England in these competitions either. There would be only one team representing the United Kingdom in all football competitions world wide. It would NOT be called England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Even club team representation in the European Champions League and EUFA Cup competitions could be affected.
The situation is highly political as many football nations are unhappy that the United Kingdom has four independent votes in FIFA and EUFA and would dearly love to have the UK reduced to a single football association and a single vote at these levels. Sepp Blatter appears to be no friend of British Football, just witness how helpful he was to Real Madrid in the Ronaldo situation. Michelle Platini was also quoted as suggesting that Ronaldo should be allowed to go to Real Madrid. So much for unbiased leadership.
Given the current political situation (in football) it would be extremely unwise to set a precedent by entering a combined British team in any Olympic games.
However, it does appear extremely presumptuous of the English FA to then assume that they should represent the United Kingdom.
The most reasonable solution would be for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland to compete for the honour of representing the United Kingdom at the Olympic Games, just as any athlete has to compete to earn their place in the Olympic team.