Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Scots Sour On 'Team GB' Idea
The Scotsman, August 26th, 2008 2PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Great Britain has not entered a soccer team into Olympic competition since the days when only amateur players were sent to compete. In modern times, the four separate associations (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have barely discussed the idea of a unified team for fear of setting a precedent. That is, if they entered a single team for the Olympics, FIFA might reason they must do so for the World Cup and European Championships as well.

But with London hosting the 2012 games, 'Team GB' is coming under pressure to form a united soccer front. FIFA President Sepp Blatter once hinted that his body would allow it as a special one-off, but he's a slippery character at the best of times, and recently said a unified team "will put into question all the privileges that the British associations were given." That's why in Scotland, the soccer establishment is not in the least bit interested in sending out its players to line up alongside the English, despite the wishes of Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (a Scot).

"The national team comes first and, at the moment, we are keen to keep our nationality intact," said Scotland manager George Burley. "We have to have a national Scottish team and we can't put that in jeopardy." Former Scottish national team player Eamon Bannon told Martyn McLaughlin that "the football authorities in Scotland see the idea as the thin end of the wedge. If it were to go ahead, it would intimate the end of a separate Scottish team. What's more, if you had to pick a team tomorrow, you would be lucky to find any Scots in it."

Then there's also the question of the "privileges" that Blatter referred to, much resented by many in the world soccer community. In 1947, with FIFA almost bankrupt, the head of the English FA, Sir Stanley Rous, negotiated a deal whereby the proceeds of (ironically) a game between Britain and a FIFA XI were donated to the world governing body "in exchange for a fixed British vice-presidency and maintenance of the four home nations. That anomaly," writes McLaughlin, "has continued to this day, and the home nations enjoy a power in the game that other nations have come to regard as disproportionate, considering their relative failure in major tournaments over the years."

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Report: Demand Amps Up Ahead of El Clasico    
This Saturday's Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, which regularly draws hundreds of millions of viewers ...
Ferguson: Moyes Didn't Inherit Declining Man United    
Alex Ferguson has updated his book My Autobiography to include a section about the short reign ...
Mourinho: Drogba Could Start vs. Man United     
Chelsea striker Loic Remy, who was substituted in the 13th-minute of Tuesday's 6-0 UEFA Champions League ...
Russia: Racism is a Global, Not Russian, Problem    
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko denied that his country has a particular problem with racism in ...
Robben Hails Bayern Tactics in Roma Thrashing    
Bayern Munich's 7-1 demolition of AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night-which broke the ...
Kompany: City, Not CSKA, Punished by Stadium Ban    
When UEFA slaps a stadium ban on a European club-as it has CSKA Moscow in the ...
Report: Raul to Join Cosmos This Week     
Former Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez on Tuesday reached an agreement to play for New York ...
Platini: Ballon d'Or Should Not Go to Ronaldo, Messi     
UEFA President Michel Platini believes the 2014 Ballon d'Or should not go to either Cristiano Ronaldo ...
Real's Bale, Ramos Miss Liverpool Clash    
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid's world record signing, and vice-captain Sergio Ramos are both out of Wednesday's ...
Ronaldo, Messi Could Break UCL Record This Week     
The world's two best players will have a chance to break Raul's UEFA Champions League goal ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives