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UK Olympic team spells danger for Scotland

Chick Young | 17:57 UK time, Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Life can be confusing in this little outcrop of rock in the North Atlantic. We can't even agree on what we disagree on.

There aren't many places on earth where people boo their own national anthem, although, to be fair, the Basques and the Catalans, for example, do think the reign of Spain is mainly a pain.

But the booing of God Save the Queen - played as the anthem of visitors Northern Ireland at Hampden - was like looking in the mirror and kicking lumps out of the vision in front of you.

The Tartan Army at Hampden.jpg

It is, after all, given that Scotland is actually part of the Union, the national song of Caledonia too.

Had it been the anthem of the Germans, the Russians or the French that was getting pelters then there would have been outrage...but then this is a little more complicated.

The fixture was played as the Games were going full tilt in Beijing, where Fifa president Sepp Blatter was sat grinning like a Cheshire cat at the growing stature of football within the Olympic movement.

Once the domain of players who turned out for Queen's Park and Corinthians, the tournament was suddenly blessed with Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho. The stakes have been upped.

And so has the heat. The football associations of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are about to have applied to them temperatures that could deep-fry a Mars Bar.

Fifa's stance is that this is a once-only offer and that, in the wake of a UK team playing in the London Olympics, normal service will be resumed.

Aye, right. I'll bet Sepp Blatter's dentist could verify his forked tongue.

The aforementioned Spaniards - European champions no less - and their component parts don't even enjoy what these islands have embraced for 100 years and more.

One passport...but four teams. Four cracks at World Cup qualification: you can see the injustice of it all from the outside looking in.

But, if you believe in international football and your heart thumps at the prospect of a team in dark blue and epic Hampden days and nights then you will do everything you can to defend the status quo.

The Scottish FA will have nothing to do with a UK team and - albeit to the tune of The Self Preservation Society - they are spot on.

And that, in itself, is a collector's item of a sentence.

If the associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland agree to Fifa's grand plan then it will be the beginning of the end. It will be like autographing your own death warrant.

And that is why - although I do agree that there may have been more than one or two booing for darker reasons - the Tartan Army, on the whole, were not simply mutinous in Mount Florida.

Fifa's wooing is the thin end of the wedge. If the SFA contributes to a GB team for the London games then we are on the road to self-destruction. It will be the dismantling of a football nation. Or four, actually.

And we will have considerably more to worry about than the night they booed a national dirge.

Comments

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  • 1. At 9:04pm on 27 Aug 2008, snidey wrote:

    The reason the Scottish. N. Irish and Welsh FA's are against it is because noone would be picked from their respective nations.

    Also I cant see any Scottish. Welsh or Irish player wanting to be part of a poor, under achieving, media hyped GB team.

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  • 2. At 11:44pm on 27 Aug 2008, chic wrote:

    Snidey, that's patently untrue, it's got nothing to do with team selection in 2012, but as chick says in the article to do with FIFA and the prospect that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could lose their rights to have international teams if a Team GB Football team plays in the 2012 Olympics.

    if you say that we're anti-english, mention the british lions rugby team and say that England is Britain anyway then your "Olympic Bingo 2012" card will be complete.

    Too many circular arguments on this issue and time people actually listened to what's being said outwith London.

    FIFA and Sepp Blatter have not guaranteed anything. There is nothing in black and white that says going ahead with a 'Team GB Football 2012' will not have an effect on the current status of all 4 UK football associations and their rights in FIFA, the IFAB and to play internationals and have club sides compete in tournaments like the UEFA cup and Champions League.

    Good article Chick by the way.

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  • 3. At 02:35am on 28 Aug 2008, KillieJimbo wrote:

    Scotland is deeply proud, yet thankfully tinged with deep sense too.

    I'm a Scot, and a Nationalist. Was I 'proud' to see the GB Olympians perform out of their socks? You bet I was. There was not a single medal winner I wasn't 100% behind.

    I can easily interchange my allegiance. I could boo 'God save the Queen' at a football match if I didnt think booing the oppositions anthem was uncouth and beneath a person of my education. I can and frequently do hope that the England football or rugby side gets beaten.

    At the same time I can cheer on Lewis Hamilton, or Rebecca Adlington like they are one of my own.

    People need to understand that there is a big, big difference between hate or racism, and rivalry. I want to see England lose because they are our closest 'rivals' in team sports. Individually or at the olympics we are one nation currently, and all 'brits' come under the same flag no matter how much we (the Scots) dislike it.

    The football issue for 2012 is yet another matter. As a Scot, I feel we simply cannot allow this to happen no matter what.

    And if the 'GB Football Team' comes out at Hampden Park full of English players...I might find it hard to stop booing at the 'national' anthem too.

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  • 4. At 08:59am on 28 Aug 2008, Dylan_Kerr_My_Lord wrote:

    KillieJimbo - I think you have highlighted the main difference between English and Scottish football/sports fans with your comments about booing English teams and wanting us to lose. As an avid football fan I always want to see British teams do well in Europe (even if it is usually just Rangers or Celtic), and I will always want the Scots, Welsh, and N. Irish to do well in the International arena.
    This probably comes from the fact that, although geographically you may be right, in practice you are not our 'closest' rivals and as such you are not a threat.
    As it happens I don't think there should be a GB team at the 2012 Olympics because there is obviously a risk that Blatter and FIFA will go back on their word and I wouldn't want see the smaller nations without representation, but to say that you can cheer Lewis Hamilton (an Englishman) and Rebecca Adlington (again English), whilst at the same time booing a GB football team, is quite clearly double standards.

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  • 5. At 09:56am on 28 Aug 2008, dcrulesok wrote:

    Dylan_Kerr - so who would you suggest are your 'closest rivals'?

    perhaps another european nation who narrowly failed to qualify for the recent European Championships?

    or perhaps one of the teams in the top 20 in FIFA's rankings?

    Or comparatively, a team who have defeated France and drawn with Croatia in recent times, results which your team failed to achieve?

    'yer tea's oot...'

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  • 6. At 10:07am on 28 Aug 2008, unclearengineer wrote:

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  • 7. At 10:18am on 28 Aug 2008, applescan wrote:

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  • 8. At 11:36am on 28 Aug 2008, Sir Nico of Clausen wrote:

    After many years of double standards by other nations, and unfortunately especially the Scots, booing the national anthem does not surprise me. Coming from a family that is very GB and Ireland mixed (my dad is from Northern Ireland, my Mum born in Wales, my granparents from Northern Ireland, the Republic and England) I love it when we compete as GB and the Olympics are the ultimate. Watching Becky Adflington, Chris Hoy win medals brings an enormous sense of pride that our nations can come together and consider themselves a team. Being born in England and considering myself English but most definately British, I would love to see a GB football team. Not a GB football team that consists of just English players but one under which supporters of all nations can, for once, come together and support one team. I do understand the issues of the SFA etc but surely something can be worked out, even if it was for once, as there would be a lot to be gained, and not just an Olympic medal.

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  • 9. At 11:53am on 28 Aug 2008, jamie4thecity wrote:

    It just can't happen.

    In a footballing sense, England are our (Scotland's) closest rivals. That has nothing to do with how similar the ability of the teams are, it's just a fact of footballing life north of the border. There is no team we want to beat more than England. It is NOT racism, it is a sporting rivalry.

    England may not consider us their biggest rivals, I suppose most Englishmen would consider Germany their biggest rivals??? So England, what would you say if it was proposed (and I know this could never actually happen and it's completely hypothetical) that England and Germany enter a joint team in the Olympics?

    Not wanting a team GB has nothing to do with being anti-British, it has to do with not wanting to play on the same international team as your biggest international rivals.

    Could you imagine if there was a one off match where Arsenal and Spurs joined forces? or Rangers and Celtic?

    It's common sense people.

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  • 10. At 12:51pm on 28 Aug 2008, jimmyhillyabas wrote:

    the easist way to get round this GB team for the olimpic is to allow all 4 home nations to compete seperately in sporting terms, we (scotland) are a nation within a union of mutual interests. We are very unlikely to have a civil war, so sport is the nearest you can come to beating your nearest rivils. For A scot is a matter of huge pride to have beaten the bigger and most of the time better neighbour at sport. and so we go full circle, compete a 4 seperate nations, and this question goes away. we do during the commenwealth games, so why not the olympics???

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  • 11. At 12:52pm on 28 Aug 2008, Martin Hawkins wrote:

    This proposal is opposed by Football Supporters Federation, Football Supporters Federation Cymru, Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs and Association of Tartan Army Clubs who are all behind the web site noteamgb.com.

    Like many north of the border the 2 weeks of the Olympics are the only 2 weeks every 4 years in which I feel British and I know I would not feel as involved if we ended up with just UK team which would no doubt play its home games in London.

    The 2010 referendum in Scotland (if it happens) could render all this meaningless anyway

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  • 12. At 1:01pm on 28 Aug 2008, StewieJT wrote:

    Absolute nonsense! I can't understand what the fuss is about. Blatter has clearly stated his position on numerous occassions, he can't renege on his promise. It is a one-off proposition and I am fully behind it. All of this paranoia or insecurity from Scotland, Wales and NI shouldn't be allowed to disrupt the planned GB team. GET IN THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT YOU MISERIES!

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  • 13. At 1:27pm on 28 Aug 2008, Martin Hawkins wrote:

    that will be the same Sepp Blatter who on the 9th of March stated ""They should enter only a team composed of players from England. This will then not provoke a long and endless discussion of the four British associations."



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  • 14. At 1:36pm on 28 Aug 2008, NoddyOwl wrote:

    Why would we want to form a team for a tournament that is low on quality and subsequent interest. That would then just let Blatter start his devious games again.
    As for booing national anthems I personally can't think of anything more pathetic or disrespectful than that. It happens everywhere and as an England fan I've born witness to it and been sickened by it. Rascist abuse is rightly clamped down on, but booing a national anthem is in my eyes not much different. The sport is the bit your there to shout at and enjoy, beating your opponents is the reward if things go well. Booing a national anthem does nothing other than rile opponents into wanting to silence those fans.

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  • 15. At 1:47pm on 28 Aug 2008, afinlaym wrote:

    Nice writing Chick

    Seems ludicrous that in the London Olympics that the island that gave birth to the game might not be represented

    All nationalistic lobbying aside, surely - and somewhat ironically - football could provide the solution

    1. The much spoken of home nations tournament to be revived once every four years

    2. The winners gain the right to represent team GB in the Olympics

    Everyone's a winner and team GB do not forfeit the right to play football in the Olympics

    It's that simple!

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  • 16. At 2:11pm on 28 Aug 2008, Martin Hawkins wrote:

    Fully agree with NoddyOwl with regard to the booing of anthems. I did not attend the Northern Ireland game as I knew the reaction GSTQ would get at Hampden and the old firm element who would be at the game.

    I would much rather those who had a problem with GSTQ either turned their backs or stayed out of the stadium until it was played as the reaction must only inspire the other team

    The respect shown to the Italian anthem in November of last year was superb and is the way it should be

    I note that some games are to be played at Hampden in 2012. If team GB play there will the attendance reach 10,000

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  • 17. At 2:26pm on 28 Aug 2008, choptastic wrote:

    And following that home nations tournament, the winner would be what - the English/Scots/Welsh/Northern Irish national team or the "GB" team that they would then embody.

    Would the Welsh or the Scots then have to go with God Save The Queen as they are not representing themselves, but representing GB?

    Furthermore, if we did that, what is to stop Blatter (assuming he is still in charge in 2012 of course - not a guarantee for an elderly gentleman like himself) saying that for future tournaments the 4 home nations play each other and the winners are then entered in to the qualifying tournament for the World Cup or the European Championships?

    Simple situation is to let England represent themselves at the football and they can end the Olympics with the grand total of 0 medals - after all the best they'll likely do is the quarter finals before bottling it on penalties!!!

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  • 18. At 2:34pm on 28 Aug 2008, TheExiles wrote:

    I tried to post this earlier on but it never came up.

    The clubs will not release players to play for Team GB. There is no obligation for them to do so as the players would not be representing a member of UEFA/FIFA.

    It cannot and will not happen because of this simple fact.

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  • 19. At 3:27pm on 28 Aug 2008, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    Playing God Save the Queen didn't stop Chris Hoy or Nicole Cooke from Wales welling up with emotion in Beijing.

    There seems a strange phobia in Scotland about anything that smacks of subjugation to the English. I personally think it is disgusting that God Save the Queen was booed in a British Stadium.

    The longer this petty minded antagonism of the English goes on the more the question may be rather than Scotland seeking independence from Britain than maybe England declaring independence from the rest of the UK.

    Two more years of misrule by two of Scotland's finest in Messrs Brown and Darling might just make up our minds to move away from the Scots and save you the bother of deciding you don't want to be British anymore.

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  • 20. At 3:43pm on 28 Aug 2008, Coldcell2008 wrote:

    A GB football team in 2012 would blatantly include non-English players. Very arrogant to assume those over-paid, over-hyped Andrex league stars would be the only ones in the side. Craig Gordon for a start is the best British 'keeper by a mile, and if people used their heads the Olympics is for Under-23s with a small contingent of over-age players for 'star' value. I would think Steven Fletcher and Aaron Ramsay would be in the side. On current international form how could David Healy be kept out the side? He's probaby scored more goals on his own that the entire England side.

    Don't assume that a GB team would be England's under-21s. We have some great players from the other nations.

    Having said that it'll never happen, thankfully.

    Great article Chic.

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  • 21. At 4:25pm on 28 Aug 2008, Lookie Bookie wrote:

    I was rather annoyed by my fellow scot explaining his booing of GSTQ as rivalry or anything other than anti-englishness. I wouldn't support england myself in games because you are our rivals but the national anthem of any country should never be booed.

    It didn't suprise me it happened though i must admit, it's ridiculous how some people react in this country but as regards to team GB shoudl never happen. Blatter said last year he would send a letter to GB to guarantee the independance of the nations this letter never arrived now if he wouldn't revoke his statment why not put it in unarguable black and white.

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  • 22. At 5:28pm on 28 Aug 2008, donprestoni wrote:

    I come from a "mixed" UK background myself, working out at roughly 1/2 English, 1/4 Scottish and 1/4 Welsh. Generally I follow England in sporting events as I myself was born there, live there and work there. I don't switch to more convenient choices either, which on occasions (like the Welsh Grand Slam in the six nations) would be easy when the England team lives up to expectations and plays woefully (well lives up to my expectations anyway) .

    With the whole TeamGB thing, I fully agree it must NEVER happen. Bladder can woo the English FA (which incidentally couldn't spot bulls*** if it was between two stories about Boumsong being the best ever player to grace a football field in the world ever, and how the world was definitely going to end in the year 2000) and tell us all he likes how it wont change anything, the fact of the matter is everyone sees through him, except a few politicians currently preoccupied trying to tie themselves to the Olympic success and make themselves look good.

    That said, a British Team should go to the London Olympics. If FIFA wants to make a one off exception it can negotiate individual entry for all the home nations teams. Failing that, a tournament could be held in 2011 to determine who goes. Allow each country to field only a team that would be eligible to play in the Olympics (to meet the criteria of an U23 team with 3 overage players, they would have to be U22 in 2011) and the winning team can compete on behalf of GB. Not as GB, but on their behalf. That way its perfectly clear there is no mixed team, a British team goes to the Olympics and none of the over rated, over paid underachieving muppets get a shot at it, as they will be too old anyway.

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  • 23. At 9:41pm on 28 Aug 2008, daveleedsfan wrote:

    Football should not be at the Olympics anyway, it has long established professional leagues in most major countries of the world. The Olympics used to be about amateurs, now it's just about bloating it with sports that should not be there. Tennis and basketball and ice hockey seem similar to football in this respect.

    And it is time to get rid the UK and Great Britain, lets us be England, Ireland (Republic and Northern) Scotland and Wales. Full nation status and passports that say the corresponding nationality.

    Then our five football teams will always be eligible for all tournaments. The Olympics does not "need" football and football fans do not want it in the Olympics.

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  • 24. At 9:53pm on 28 Aug 2008, drschneider wrote:

    Several people have outlined the reasons why a GB football team won't work in 2012. Blatter's track record is reason enough to rubbish his assurance that it would be a one-off occurance and the idea is largely ridiculous. I don't think the tournament is worthless though. Given England's performance the other day a fantastic European Championship without them wasn't enough to provoke an improvement, maybe technical brilliant and exciting football played in London without a Home Nation will be the kick up the backside that the England set-up needs?

    A point about the anthems though: I suspect a good chunk of it was political (as with the Basque/Catalan example). In that case People have every right - it's just another form of protest. I personally despise the national anthem because I find the idea of a monarchy in the 21st century insulting. But I think turning your back gets the message across even better.

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  • 25. At 9:54pm on 28 Aug 2008, drschneider wrote:

    "And it is time to get rid the UK and Great Britain, lets us be England, Ireland (Republic and Northern) Scotland and Wales. Full nation status and passports that say the corresponding nationality."

    couldn't agree more.

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  • 26. At 10:28pm on 28 Aug 2008, YungChicAntiBlog wrote:

    Anarchy in the UK? We love our Queen, we mean it, man. God save! and Hansen nets the rebound (surreal isn't it?). A punk revival needing some National Service and no mistake! Must be the 70's! Two years before a general election with the SNP in the ascendency, an improving Scotland national fitba' team and a tired Labour Government with an unelected leader trying to fight against the democratic freedom fighters of right wing politics in Greater England. Crisis what crisis? And England couldn't qualify then either with a squad of the best players in the world on paper. Glory days. Corrie blimey.Games against Hamilton, Airdrie beating Hearts. The only thing we didn't have back then is refereeing bias. (and bigoted baguettes, obviously).

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  • 27. At 00:15am on 29 Aug 2008, EdinburghsNo1 wrote:

    No, No and thrice no.

    It seems the only people who want a GB football team are English fans, the same English fans who accuse Scots of "double standards"....

    Right, so we can all come together and be one big happy family and compete for "team "GB - but will the English let Glasgows finest into their cash cow Premier league, bet your life they won't!!

    Finally I get a chance to laud the SFA! Well done Gordon Smith and David Taylor from UEFA, stick to your guns and let Coe,Brown and whichever politician who wants to bump their gums. We all know the repercussions of letting Politicians interfere with the independence of Football associations so go on Gordon Brown - force our hand and maybe we will all get thrown out!

    It will be a cold day in hell before this Scot endorses the big fat lie that "Team GB" would be. Scotland is the birthplace of international football and lets not let the world forget.

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  • 28. At 00:28am on 29 Aug 2008, nobledufcfan wrote:

    Agree that should never boo a national anthem but can anyone answer a question that I have never understood. Why do England and Northern Ireland play God Save the Queen in any event? If that is really the UK national anthem, why are they using it when they are playing as a constituent part of the country? Shouldn't Enlgand play land of hope and glory?Nothing worse or more likely to rile up the fans than seeing England v. Scotland at Murrayfield or Hampden and hearing the visiting team play the national anthem that London claims is actually Scotland's national anthem.

    Second point is that clearly it would be crazy for Scotland to risk losing their status for the sake of two weeks in an under 23s tournament, but here is one angle that I haven't heard anyone raise. If the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish stay out and they actually go ahead with an England only team, do people really think that is going to be a positive thing for the cohesiveness of the UK. For me as a Scot (and I suspect most Welshman and Northern Irish too) watching 11 Englishman play as GB will just reinforce the belief that the English view GB and Eng er land as interchangeable and I will have no allegiance to that team in the slightest. If don't support them or take the next step of hoping Team England playing as Team GB lose, we will hear the usual Scots are sour, racist and refuse to get behind their country. We can't win. I also recall being at a "Team GB" hockey match at the Barcelona Olympics where the entire match involved fans chanting En ger land, En ger land even though there were only 5 or 6 English players on the field. English people never seem to understand why that would annoy fans from other GB nations.

    There should be no Scots in Team GB and if three of the four countries in GB aren't involved then no Team GB.

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  • 29. At 00:32am on 29 Aug 2008, nobledufcfan wrote:

    Agree that should never boo a national anthem but can anyone answer a question that I have never understood. Why do England and Northern Ireland play God Save the Queen in any event? If that is really the UK national anthem, why are they using it when they are playing as a constituent part of the country? Shouldn't Enlgand play land of hope and glory?Nothing worse or more likely to rile up the fans than seeing England v. Scotland at Murrayfield or Hampden and hearing the visiting team play the national anthem that London claims is actually Scotland's national anthem.

    Second point is that clearly it would be crazy for Scotland to risk losing their status for the sake of two weeks in an under 23s tournament, but here is one angle that I haven't heard anyone raise. If the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish stay out and they actually go ahead with an England only team, do people really think that is going to be a positive thing for the cohesiveness of the UK. For me as a Scot (and I suspect most Welshman and Northern Irish too) watching 11 Englishman play as GB will just reinforce the belief that the English view GB and Eng er land as interchangeable and I will have no allegiance to that team in the slightest. If we don't support them or take the next step of hoping Team England playing as Team GB lose, we will hear the usual Scots are sour, racist and refuse to get behind their country. We can't win. I also recall being at a "Team GB" hockey match at the Barcelona Olympics where the entire match involved fans chanting En ger land, En ger land even though there were only 5 or 6 English players on the field. English people never seem to understand why that would annoy fans from other GB nations.

    There should be no Scots in Team GB and if three of the four countries in GB aren't involved then no Team GB.

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  • 30. At 03:13am on 29 Aug 2008, Engerluuuund wrote:

    Ha, ha. You Scots are funny. You make it sound as though the English couldn't cope if Scotland left the Union.

    With any luck this discussion will be irrelevant because hopefully David Cameron will be PM and then call a referendum to disband the union and Scotland can fend for itself. It may even be able to join the EU if it meets all the criteria.

    Let England gain its independence from Scotland. It's been holding us back for years.

    I can only think of one downside if England split from Scotland - it's that we wouldn't have any sargeant-majors in the army. Hahaha.

    Come on England!

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  • 31. At 05:40am on 29 Aug 2008, SecretAlchemist wrote:

    Booing the so-called national anthem? The second verse is anti-Scottish. Such bigoted tunes should never be played in Scotland. Chick, are you completely ignorant of this or trying one of your not-so-sly wind-ups?


    Team GB? Stupid idea touted by ignorant Little Englanders. Blatter's comment about fielding an all-England side shows just how misunderstood this topic is, both inside and outside of the UK. Had he said field an all-Welsh side it might have made sense. Still, this is the man who wanted Koreans to stop eating dogs before the 2002 World Cup, so we can hardly expect a multicultural perspective from him.

    In politics, the Union may or may not survive. Regardless of that, in sport, the home nations should compete independently of each other, as in European football and the Commonwealth Games. It is fielding an all-UK team at the Olympics that is anomalous, not the lack of UK representation in football.

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  • 32. At 11:31am on 29 Aug 2008, Gareth_Banton wrote:

    Even though I have an explanation from the BOC I don't understand why we're Team GB. Northern Ireland is in the UK, not Great Britain. And in the Olympics we also include The Falklands, Gibraltar and others not part of Great Britain. Team UK is more appropriate.

    A "Team GB" football team would include no players from anywhere other than England. We wanted Ryan Giggs for a while but he's too old.

    England / the English do not want a Team GB either

    We don't want Celtic playing in the Premiership, in fact, if you want them, you can have one or two Premiership teams for the Scottish League

    The English don't like the national anthem either. Play what ever song you like, can we have something else please.

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  • 33. At 11:37am on 29 Aug 2008, HantsCricketFan wrote:

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  • 34. At 11:39am on 29 Aug 2008, QuincyMD wrote:

    If the Olympic team means the end of the shame that hordes of drunken idiots in kilts and wigs brings to Scotland then I'm all for it. It's about time the people of Scotland realised that we are nothing more than a region of the Uk rather than a country. We gave up being a country in 1707 when the Scottish parliament drove the country to bankruptcy.

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  • 35. At 11:45am on 29 Aug 2008, csomethingood wrote:

    Thinking about this from a completely logical perspective, before we go an amalgamate 4 different footballing nations, there needs to be agreement and unity. You cant just one day decide to merge at the top level, it needs to come from the bottom up. At least, if it was going to last and not just be a 1-trick Olympic pony.

    If it was going to be done properly and seriously, there should be a joining or unification with the leagues. If we are playing as Team GB we need to be Team GB. Theres some good discussion on here about the impact of International football with unification, but that should be the end result, not the beginning. Of course most, if not all, the supposed Team GB would be full of English, because there is none of the wealth the Premiership has in the other 3 leagues, therefore the best academies and opportunities are English. The Scottish top 2 would represent well in the Premiership, mid table at least. Most of the rest, fair enough, would be Championship standard or lower but the money available would also be more lucrative. I honestly dont know much about N Irish or Welsh leagues, but seeing as the likes of Cardiff, Swansea etc already play English football, and those teams didnt upset the apple cart...

    Anyway, I'm sure you all get my point. It wouldnt be easy, but I think would be a lot more worthwhile for true British football than just sticking some token Scots, N Irish or Welsh on the England team-sheet and hoping for the best which, as I gather, is whats going to happen.

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  • 36. At 12:22pm on 29 Aug 2008, higgsie1 wrote:

    I am sick and tired of this debate. I would quite happily support all for the four individual nations participating as seperate entities because there is very little opposition from anyone in england, and we possess the strongest individual football team. I personally think an england side would be pretty much the first choice GB side. All i want is to have a team there, which would inevitably be GB, because it is a chance of another gold medal and because it is a game of football that is supposed to be enjoyed.

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  • 37. At 12:25pm on 29 Aug 2008, scott_e wrote:

    no no no no no, no GB football team thank you.

    Football shouldn’t even be at the Olympics. Any sport with a competition more prestigious than the Olympics should not be there as a rule.

    Football has the World Cup !!!


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  • 38. At 12:29pm on 29 Aug 2008, osian wrote:

    I don't think I would ever boo a national anthem. However when i do hear god save the queen i do feel disgust that this is the anthem played when an Olympian from one of the Celtic nations wins a medal.

    A team GB wll never work because the players will be distracted with all the critiscism and arguments of legitimacy and future of British football. The Welsh, Scottish and NI football associations have a justified fear that this will be them effectively commiting suicide and resigning to the fact that they will eventually have to become a part of a 'Brisitsh' FA. I think the main opposition to the existence of these associantions is from England and Spain who want to have more power or hold on to their existing power.

    "We wanted Ryan Giggs for a while but he's too old." He never was that good an international.

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  • 39. At 12:33pm on 29 Aug 2008, FrankieG21 wrote:

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  • 40. At 12:34pm on 29 Aug 2008, anon_punter wrote:

    I think this should be put to bed as soon as possible and there should DEFINATELY NOT BE A GB FOOTBALL TEAM AT THE OLYMPICS.
    Politics and football do not mix, all this issue has done is raised hostility on either sides of the border. Anyway, football shouldn't even be in the Olympics. If representing your country in the Olympics is not the pinnacle of an athletes career then they shouln't be there.

    What if any football violence materialised during a Team GB game? It's bad enough the scenes of the English in Belgium during the Euros a few years bad, but at the Olympics? The security would have to be water-tight to save the possibility of embarassment, but with scores of police and security would this be an image that Great Britain wants the world to see at an Olympic Games? It would spoil the Olympic spirit.

    If England and/or Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland qualify for Euro 2012 the thing will be a no go anyway. Even if none qualify we've seen how reluctant managers are to release players for this competition; and will the players themselves want to participate? It may turn out that we will be unable to assemble a competitive squad let alone a team with a chance of a medal.

    If there is going to be a team then I think it should be something like an under 19s team with at least 2 representatives from each home nation. The quicker thay come up with something like this the better.

    Does anyone know?:
    What if a promising uncapped 19 year old Scot/Welshman/Irishman wanted to play for Team GB? Would he be free to go with the permission of his club? Does the respective FAs have the right to stop individuals participating?

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  • 41. At 12:43pm on 29 Aug 2008, monstergee wrote:

    Even as a more of a Rugby fan than a football fan and also someone who does not understand football tribalism. I feel that it would be a bad day for all countries of the union if we can’t get a team into the Olympics. In Rugby we have the home nations teams and the British Lions and rugby also has the barbarians which is a club team that competes at Internationals, so why not for 2012 create a club GB to compete along the lines of the Barbarians, surely that would reduce the risk to the home nations football teams, mind you how many of the four nations football teams played in the 2008 European cup, maybe we would have more success with a single team until devolution takes place.

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  • 42. At 12:59pm on 29 Aug 2008, super bobby zamo wrote:

    I'm English and lived in Scotland for 4 years - this is a typically nationalist Scottish attitude. Calling our national anthem 'a dirge' exposes just how poor some of the journalism is on this site.

    What gets me the most is that English people don't want to stand up for their own rights - I certainly don't want to have to celebrate footballing success alongside the Scots and the Welsh when it would be our players doing the work!

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  • 43. At 1:11pm on 29 Aug 2008, ftmathieson wrote:

    Where is this going to end? Are people going to debate this everyday until 2012?

    I am a proud Scot who has represented Scotland at disabled bowls since 2004. However, watch every Scottsh medal winner at Beijing brought home how proud I am to be a Brit.

    Like or not, Scotland IS part of Britain, so to is Wales, Northern Ireland AND England - we are ONE country.

    The footall subject is gone too political. It should be brought back down to be level outside politics. Has anyone actually went and asked the most important people in this - the players.

    People go on about no representation og Scotland, Wales and N Ireland in a British team. However, what do the footballers want - every single one may want to play in the London games (which I may add took 60 years to get so they may never have this opportunity again). They are the most important feature here. I detest anyway who says people other than English don't feel proud in a British vest - tell that to a certain Chris Hoy and lets see his reaction!

    British football has been represented in the Olimpics before (1962) and did that affect individual country status - what a surprise the answer is NO - I repeat NO.

    All that talk about dispanding individial FA's is total rubbish and people need to get a sense of reality here. We have a Scottish Badmintion, basketball, etc - are they dispanding because they are in the Oympics - again no.

    In terms of just having English players - well you put a quota of 5 from each country and a minimum of two are to be on the field at one time with a maximum of 4. Sorted - a problem that has been raging for ages was sorted by a simple solution.

    The way people are talking - it sounds as if if one Scot is picked for a Europe or World XI, the SFA is going to disappear off the face of the world - come on people have a bit of common sense.

    Football should be in the Olympics. If that goes because of professionalism, you need to take out swimming, basketball, atheltics, equestrian, badminton, rowing...... - every athlete competiting has their sport as a profession, so the idea of the Olympics being non-professional is as old as the Great Wall of China. That would open a can of worms which frankly would destroy the Olympic Games as a whole.

    Sorry for the rant but had to get my point out - driving me crazy and we should be 100% behind a British team for 2012 - not trying to pull it apart!

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  • 44. At 1:12pm on 29 Aug 2008, Ray Bristol wrote:

    As an Englishman I agree with Chick Young. Entering a combined (note the word combined) team to represent GB in 2012 would be the thin end of an extremely long wedge.
    Blatter has been trying to bash the Brits for years.
    The only precedent there is was in the previous London Olympics where a GB team took the field comprising only of English players.
    If something similar were repeated in 2012 FIFA would not be able to use that against the home nations in future. As long as the GB team was made up of representatives of a single football association.
    What I suggest is a revival of the Home Internationals spread over two years 2010/2011 - so each team will play each other home and away. The winners of the tournament would then have the right to represent GB at the 2012 Olympics.
    If it's given the right spin (eg given the appearance of becoming a permanent feature of the calendar) the Home International tournament would be seen to be totally separate from the Olympics, so none of the profits by the tournament would have to be shared with the IOC.
    That way all four nations can feel they've been given a fair go and even make a bit of money in the process.
    Even the sweaty socks couldn't object to that surely?

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  • 45. At 1:16pm on 29 Aug 2008, StewieJT wrote:

    I've had enough of this debate! How sad it is that the idea of a unified under-23 team competing in our home olympics can give rise to such hostility, mistrust and paranoia. It's a shame that there are people with such anti-English views. I know that we have some of the most unpleasant people in the world following England, but they are only a minority, we are not all like that. What a pity that the Olympic ideal is over-shadowed by other things outside sport.

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  • 46. At 1:18pm on 29 Aug 2008, BigShifty wrote:

    I was at the N.ireland game, even my mates were booing, it sickened me.

    The people who are calling double standards or saying we should join the GB team,
    you have to understand that when it comes to the Scotland National Team, we love them, REALLY love them, its our chance to wear kilts drink tennats and shout s **te about how brilliant we are,

    I know I will support GB in any other sport (even the lions are ok) but you cant ever take take the tartan army away from us. Chicks comment is right, Blatter would love to take away our 4 nation privelage.

    I like the idea of the Celtic Cup to decide who gets to represent

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  • 47. At 1:30pm on 29 Aug 2008, Ray Bristol wrote:

    "What gets me the most is that English people don't want to stand up for their own rights - I certainly don't want to have to celebrate footballing success alongside the Scots and the Welsh when it would be our players doing the work!"

    I disagree - I'm English through and through but I was cheering like made for Team GB at the Olympics - Chris Hoy and all the rest. It seems to me however that it is for the most part only the English who do this, so I don't think jimbullard21 really has anything to worry about on that score.

    The thing is that we cannot have a combined GB football team because there is no such thing as a UKFA. There is however a precedence to allow one of the home FA's to represent GB at an Olympics held on our shores. I don't see why we shouldn't use that to our advantage, if only to stick two fingers up to Blatter :o)

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  • 48. At 1:41pm on 29 Aug 2008, Fud-U-Like wrote:

    I don't understand the fuss. Since when did anyone give a monkeys about Olympic football?

    I certainly wouldn't give up our football team for the sake of a tournament I don't care about.

    And I don't see what it has to do with independence or anything, it's purely a football matter!

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  • 49. At 1:49pm on 29 Aug 2008, amdionisi wrote:

    Chic's article was spot on from a Scot's point of view but it just goes to show what a confused country we live in. When Chris Hoy ( a Scot) won gold for GB at the Olympics I hope no Scot was booing the anthem then. Think of all the idiosyncracies e.g. in Northen Ireland supporting an all Irish rugby team one minute, the British Lions, NI for football and GB for olympic sports. Which other country in the world has all of the variations?
    It's just that a number of sports were developed on the islands so the first 'internationals' were plyed between home nations. If football had been invented in another country 100+ years ago wouldn't we have a GB team.
    Enough already! The answer is simple. I ask every Scot to vote SNP have a referendum and become a truly independent country. End of story, end of confusion, end of whingeing.
    Unfortunately the Scots want their cake and eat it here. (I am English but married to a Scot and we both have British passports last time I checked.) Bring on a GB football and leave the whingers behind. It is their problem to resolve.

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  • 50. At 1:54pm on 29 Aug 2008, Gareth_Banton wrote:

    "Like or not, Scotland IS part of Britain, so to is Wales, Northern Ireland AND England - we are ONE country."

    "People go on about no representation og Scotland, Wales and N Ireland in a British team."

    "In terms of just having English players - well you put a quota of 5 from each country and a minimum of two are to be on the field at one time with a maximum of 4. Sorted - a problem that has been raging for ages was sorted by a simple solution."

    Sorry to be pedantic, but Northern Ireland is not part of Britain. It's part of the UK, or to give it it's full name, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    And why should we have a quota system imposed on us if we enter a team, the US team doesn't have to have a quota system for each state, the Spain team didn't have to include 3 Basques.


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  • 51. At 2:07pm on 29 Aug 2008, SUP3R_J wrote:

    This Anti Unionist stuff is embarrassing. There are many pro's and con's to the Union... I for one think that it is mutually advantageous, however THIS IS NOT THE FORUM FOR THIS DISCUSSION!!

    - Football (or any other sport) should never be used as a political foil for any Government. Sports should be seen as a release from the diatribe of daily life.

    - FIFA have already stated in the past that players born anywhere in the UK are eligable to play for any of the home nations therefore they already see GB as one 'nation' anyway. FIFA's approval of a Team GB is merely a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the UK's influence over the international game by reducing 4 votes to 1. Blatter is a buffoon and cannot be trusted.

    - I also believe that the booing of national antems is an absolute disgrace and should be treated seriously by any football association who allows it to happen. I was disgusted to hear the booing at Hampden.. I would have thought a dignified silence more appropriate. The verse 2 thing is also wearing very thin..it has been removed from the official antem. By the way..we constantly sing about sending Edward home to think again... WHATS THE DIFFERENCE!

    Its time to get over this whole argument. FIFA cannot be trusted, therefore there can be no Team GB at the 2012 olympics - END OF!!

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  • 52. At 2:09pm on 29 Aug 2008, mightystags wrote:

    100% correct Chick. I have Scottish / Northern Irish and English ancestry, although I was born and raised in England.

    The constituent parts of the UK have a unique status within the International football community and one which should not, under any circumstances, be jeopordised.

    Forget about the Olympic football team, it is completely unimportant anyway.

    On this one we should adopt the motto 'United we fall, divided we stand'.

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  • 53. At 2:12pm on 29 Aug 2008, DB Cooper wrote:

    I dont see GSTQ strictly as a national anthem.

    A national anthem celebrates a country, its history and its culture.
    It should represent everyone.

    GSTQ is about a woman born into a life of privilage, who owns items that are literally priceless, while her "subjects" who have cancer receive treatment based on their postcode.
    People in areas of Glasgow arent expected to make 55 while she leads a life of unimaginable luxury, while taking money from the taxpayer.

    GSTQ is about something that I really dont agree with.

    If there is a god, why would he save her? Shouldnt we all wish that he would save everybody? What has she done in her life to make her worth saving and me expendable?

    As a Scot, I am British aswell which makes GSTQ my anthem, and I am within my rights to boo my own anthem if I want.
    I think it is disgusting that this song is used to represent British people.

    With all the connotations GSTQ has (monarchy, class divide, privilage) every UK citizen has the right to boo it.

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  • 54. At 2:16pm on 29 Aug 2008, TartanRed77 wrote:

    What scares me is that we're all still drunk up here celebrating winning World Cup 2010 that we accidently agree to be part of "Team GB" without realising it!!

    Seriously though, c'mon no way do we want to be part of this, the possibility of losing a national footballing identity which has been nurtured over 100 plus years and in particular the last 40 or so would be heart-breaking.

    For any of you out there who haven't been to Hampden for a match do it and you'll understand, the emotion at the Holland game in 2003, the excitment at the end of the Georgia game last March and the feeling that Glasgow was the centre of the universe when Italy came calling in November.........it can and often does bring grown men to tears. I've been a part of it for a few years now and if that was taken away from us it would feel like losing part of our soul.

    Alba Gu Brath

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  • 55. At 2:16pm on 29 Aug 2008, draytalon wrote:

    A GB Football team for the Olympic Games 2012, whatever next. Let's see, if the Nations agree to this idea, i agree what a lot of others are saying, it will be the demise of them as nations. Sepp Blatter on the other hand is a devious person, if Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all veto the idea, then Sepp would probably ban us as nations in playing for European glory as individual club teams and then ban the nations on entering the European Championships and World Cup trail. I am wholly against the idea of a GB team, i think, if we can, just like the Commonwealth Games, partake in the Olympics as separate nations. Each of the 4 Countries have their own identity. Let's keep them that way. If countries like Nigeria, Cameroon and all the other African nations can enter the Olympics as separate nations and not as Africa, then why can England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales not enter as separate nations. What is good for one country, should be good for another. On the whole, i do not cheer on the GB teams in any events. I have noticed in the past that if there is any Welsh or Scots on the podium under the GB flag, the mouth there own national anthem as God save the queen is played. Land 'O My Fathers and 'O Flower Of Scotland seem to run deep in the blood of these Nations and to replace it with what many call the 'English' national anthem, well that could lead to a lot of trouble. Let's keep these 4 nations as they are, Sepp might think the idea is well suited to his growing of the football stage in the olympics, but he does not look on the negative side of things, only what he can achieve as good.

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  • 56. At 2:28pm on 29 Aug 2008, csomethingood wrote:

    ...seems everyone is full of negative points of view, at least as per the implications of making a Team GB for the olympics. How about something positive?

    Heres something...for the longest time all you hear about the England team is ''manager picking players over tactics, team constantly under performs, 11 individuals blah blah''. Doesnt look like its going to change soon, either.

    So, wouldnt this give an opportunity to try other players from the other British nations and see how it works? I mean complaining about this same problem all the time (at least to this Scot) is getting pretty tiresome, yet from what I read on here theres also the same diehards not wanting the glory of their England team 'tainted' with less valuable players outside the poisioned Premiership chalice.

    At the very least, these less money-valuable, smaller household named players might just bring some passion to that jersey. Thats what England is lacking and thats just what Scottish, Welsh and N Irish players would bring. Passion and pride to the National team.

    Its easy to complain about, and much harder to actually fix a problem.

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  • 57. At 2:31pm on 29 Aug 2008, BBN_Biggzy wrote:

    I would like nothing more than the GB football team to happen as it would be insane that the country that invented the sport would not I would like nothing more than the GB football team to happen as it would be insane that the country that invented the sport would not have a team to represent us in the Olympics even though the Olympics would be over here in 2012.

    However i do agree with the fa's of Scotland, wales and northern Ireland who fear that contributing to a GB team would damage there national teams. I am sure every Scot, Welsh, Irish and English man would be against the idea of their country's not being able to compete as independent nations

    However there has to be a GB football team at the Olympics and i am not talking about the terrible idea that GB could field 11 English players to get round this argument. Because even though i am English i also am British and for me it would be so sad that the the GB football team will just represent England and not GB. So i agree with the idea that we should have a home nation championship and whoever wins that earns the right to represent GB and whoever wins that if this happens i will be supporting 100% to win the gold medal

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  • 58. At 2:34pm on 29 Aug 2008, Little Englander wrote:

    Ah Chico, this is what happens when "Administators" hatch a plot me thinks, F.I.F.A.'S "regulators", would like nothing more than the home unions to take the bait, they wont say it out loud but the guys waiting in the wings for the dead mans shoes will have been well briefed on the road to go down.

    Why do we need a professional olympics team ? seems we've been doing ok without one for" rinky dink years", are they hoping we'll be so carried away by this years success we'll jump in the pot ? Not so blind me hopes.

    Why dont "team GB ", stick with the Olympic ethic and put in a team of amateur players, it wont impact on any of the home nations.

    Ok we wont win it but it would be a fantastic spectacle against the likes of Argentina or Brazil, it would also stick an unofficial two digits at the men in the shadows.

    How would we pick the squad? ask for names from the top Amateur associations from the four countries, stick all the names into individual plastic "Olympic"logo'd balls then have the 11 squad positional draws, pick out the first 11 names, then redraw for reserve players, have a third draw to complete the squad, have it shown live on Sky, with dancing girls and fireworks. Should only take about two hours or so.

    I can just about remember when things were so much simpler.


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  • 59. At 2:48pm on 29 Aug 2008, boris75 wrote:

    Booing of National Anthems cannot be justified. The Tartan Army booed Lithunian's anthem last year too and this is not acceptable.

    While the Tartan Army must accept that these actions are unacceptable, the Northern Irish FA must also realise that "God Save The Queen" was bood primarily as it is England's national anthem. This is a song that the Scots have always rejected, and the reason why "Flower of Scotland" is now our sporting national anthem.

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  • 60. At 2:53pm on 29 Aug 2008, super bobby zamo wrote:

    "I disagree - I'm English through and through but I was cheering like made for Team GB at the Olympics - Chris Hoy and all the rest. It seems to me however that it is for the most part only the English who do this, so I don't think jimbullard21 really has anything to worry about on that score."

    Of course I was cheering on Chris Hoy, but football is not cycling, and that is the fundamental point nobody seems to want to admit. It isn't a 'rational' agrument along political lines, true, but sport and politics should (for the most part) be completely separate in my opinion.

    You should try living in Scotland a bit to see just how rabid the anti-English sentiment is there before commenting in all honesty. I live and breathe football, and what I love about the Scottish is that they are the same. I would not want to tell them what to do in any way shape or form when it comes to their national team.

    I agree with everyone who says that there should be a tourney to see who represents, although that would never work because club managers would prevent the best English players from playing (whereas everyone else would love to get one over on us and field full strength teams). You know I'm right!!!

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  • 61. At 3:03pm on 29 Aug 2008, YoreLore wrote:

    I think a lot of people have no idea what the word "Racism" means, for a Scot to dislike an Englishman is not racism or vice versa...the English and Scots are not a "race".

    Anyway, I am Scottish and a nationalist. I did not support Great Britain during the olympics, why? Did I not even support any of the Scottish athletes who were winning medals? No I didn't. I for one do not want to be part of Great Britain.

    Hearing so many of the commentators and analysts say England instead of Great Britain was very embarrassing. Most of them wish it was just England. You have more of the athletes etc because you have more people in your country, just like China dominated the games because they have more people than everyone else :P.

    I hate the national anthem which is as we all know the same as the English one, I hate the arrogance of so many people involved in English football, how the Scottish league is looked at down south as if it is a mickey mouse competition. Rangers and Celtic challenge for the league every season but there are only really two teams down south too...even if you do proclaim there is a top 4.

    You have a better standard of football than Scotland, of course you do, more money thrown in, more footballers and more fans. Scotland only has 5 million people. For a country with 5 million I think we do alright at club and international level. Put Rangers and Celtic in the EPL and give them 3 years with the money all the other clubs get and I can promise you that you would be calling it a top 5. Rangers and Celtic have bigger and better stadia than almost all of the teams in England, only Arsenal and Man Utd have better grounds, St James Park is a good one too. They have more fans world wide than most aswell, including Chelsea and Arsenal.

    Unless you live in Scotland you cant understand how massive Rangers and Celtic are. Meet any football fan here and start a discussion, most will say "who do you support, Rangers or Celtic" ...I support neither :P. Most fans laugh at you if you dont support one of them. I know loads of football fans and only about 10 of them dont support one of the old firm. My workplace has only 5 fans I can think of who do not support Rangers or Celtic and there are about 100 workers who like football.

    Anyway, I like our league, I like our national team and will never support anything called GB. I enjoy watching your league and laugh when you claim its the best in the world...maybe it is but that is not down to the English players, its the foreign talent that brings the money in.

    Would any players outside of England make it into the squad...I think Craig Gordon would :P who knows maybe he could help England to finally win something :P

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  • 62. At 3:46pm on 29 Aug 2008, neilgthedee wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 3:51pm on 29 Aug 2008, NO MAD TT AM wrote:

    Suggesting that a Scots person should support England under the banner of the UK is like suggesting an English person should support Germany under the banner of Europe.

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  • 64. At 4:28pm on 29 Aug 2008, LeedsWanderer wrote:

    Don't see a problem, if they don't want to play then make it up of members who do!! It's their loss. If that means a team of english and northern irish then whatever. Shame for the British (scottish) players who might make the team losing out.

    When it comes to the rivalry i always want scottish teams to win in europe and was disappointed they didn't beat the french/italians to it last time; same goes for the welsh and northern and southern irish-that is until of course they play the boys in white when i want to obliterate them!!! That applies to rugby as well as football when i always want the British team to beat the Southern Hemisphere boys.

    I get the rivalry when we play each other-but when we don't; GET OVER YOURSELVES; it's only sport for god sakes; do you think the British lads in Iraq care that much who they're fighting next to-so long as they are British!?!?!

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  • 65. At 4:33pm on 29 Aug 2008, ARNOLLZACPEN wrote:

    I THOUGHT THAT THE FOUR HOME NATIONS HAD 1 VOTE EACH ON SOME FIFA BODY THAT COMPRISED EIGHT MEMBERS. TO FORCE A CHANGE THROUGH , SUCH AS A UK TEAM, IT WOULD REQUIRE A MAJORITY VOTE, SO IT WONT HAPPEN IF WE DON'T WANT IT TO.

    IS THIS STILL THE CASE OR HAVE THINGS CHANGED ?

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  • 66. At 4:46pm on 29 Aug 2008, Grantchstr wrote:

    Please tell us which Scottish players would even make it on to a GB team? No wonder the Scots dont want to participate - they would have no players selected anyway!

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  • 67. At 4:50pm on 29 Aug 2008, spookbhoy905 wrote:

    There does appear to be a bit of double standards here. Our (Scotland's) national team are clinging to their independance, whilst at the same time the Old Firm are trying everywhich way to join the more competitive (and lucrative) English Leagues. If that were to happen then there would be no argument about a GB team. Let's face it the majority of Scotland's clubs outside the SPL struggle to get the gates of the English 3rd division or league two or whatever it is called this week. This is clinging to independance for the sake of it., in the wake of a lost cause. Scottish football is sadly, by and large dead in the water.

    Robert
    Ealing

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  • 68. At 5:16pm on 29 Aug 2008, AngloBairn wrote:

    The debate about whether GB has a footy team at the Olympics should actually be replaced with whether there should actually be a football tournament at all at the Olympics.
    With the World Cup, European Championships and Copa America etc., there are more than enough tournaments for football.
    I watched quite a lot of the Olympics this year and can honestly say I watched none of the football. This was nothing to do with the lack of a GB team as I watched nearly all of Euro 2008 where there were no British teams. I just think football doesn't belong at the Olympics.

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  • 69. At 5:21pm on 29 Aug 2008, AngloBairn wrote:

    Spookbhoy905, your comment that if the OF joined the English League there would be no argument about a GB team just show's your complete lack of knowledge about Scottish Football and the desires of the majority of football fans in Scotland.
    Mind you should we be surprised The way you spell your name "bhoy" seems to indicate where your loyalty lies.

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  • 70. At 5:38pm on 29 Aug 2008, vox_iena wrote:

    My opinion is that UK should not compete with a single team in London 2012.
    I think the home nations have the right to keep their privilege of playing as 4 separate teams as long as they want (well deserved privilege to me, they gave us football), but is not fair to allow them to choose from competition to competition.
    The choice it's yours, but once the decision for a single team is made, every privilege must be banned.
    I'd like to continue to play against english,scottish,welsh end n.irish teams (also in club competitions), but the world is changing and maybe i have to start thinking at UK as a single football nation.
    Cheers.

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  • 71. At 6:10pm on 29 Aug 2008, Tacalabala wrote:

    For me, the ONLY solution that would keep the seperation of the home nations alive is a Home Nations Championship.

    I've not only proposed this but also taken the trouble to draw up a tournament schedule on 606: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A40055410

    The winners of such a Championship would be allowed to play in their traditional colours, have their national anthem played, and the only GB indication would be the 'Team GB' lion on the sleeves.

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  • 72. At 6:39pm on 29 Aug 2008, end2endgame wrote:

    To be honest we shouldn't even be having a debate about this in the first place as football should not be at the Olympics. It does not need to be as we have a perfectly adequate competition called 'The World Cup' and we also have the Euro's.

    The sooner the IOC kicks football out or into touch (excuse the cheap pun) the better. I like football (hence my forum name) but NOT at the Olympics. It is along with Tennis NOT an Olympic sport. Track and Field Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, Rowing, Gymnastics etc etc are. Can't the IOC see the folly of including footy in the Olympics. Its sheer madness. Somebody in the IOC needs to see sense here.

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  • 73. At 7:04pm on 29 Aug 2008, bbbbbrechiner wrote:

    Oh my goodness, are you lot crazy! We are Scotland, a nation on its own! Are we not allowed to boo our arch rivals national anthem? We would not support their football team(England nor N.Ireland) nor would they support us and so would we have them support our national anthem? Never!!!! I suggest you have a look at the full list of words to their national anthem... "...and rebel Scots crush"!!! Why should we Scots support such a song!? Surely we have greater pride than this!!!!!

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  • 74. At 7:11pm on 29 Aug 2008, SirDunc wrote:

    From what I can gather, the reason Scotland dosent want to be part of a GB football team is simple anti - English racism. The fact that the so called 'Tartan Army' booed God Save the Queen highlights this. Scotland has been given assurances by FIFA and UEFA and Scottish PM Gordon Brown that its footballing autonomy will not be put at risk by being part of a GB team. Why would any country be bothered about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland playing as single nations in European and World Cups? The days of these nations qualifying for football tournaments is long gone and I cant see it ever returning. Its sad that Scotland dosent want to be part of a GB team that could possibly win the tournament with Sir Alex at the helm, but is happy to host Olympic Football Matches at Hampden - come on guys, you cant have it both ways.

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  • 75. At 7:24pm on 29 Aug 2008, bbbbbrechiner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 76. At 7:45pm on 29 Aug 2008, SirDunc wrote:

    Only slightly hypocritical though...
    The big difference is that in England we considered finishing 3rd in our group unacceptable,our players got no end of criticism and we sacked our manager but in Scotland you treated your players and manager like heroes for finishing 3rd!!! Failure is celebrated in some countries....
    But in decribing England as 'wretched' you simply confirm the shocking amount of anti - English racism which now excists north of the border, and the real reason why you dont want to be part of a GB football team.

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  • 77. At 8:06pm on 29 Aug 2008, Gerrard_8LFC wrote:

    Just field a team comprised of only English players, problem solved. There would only have been a token Scot, Welsh and Irishman on the bench. No loss.

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  • 78. At 8:39pm on 29 Aug 2008, A_Carnegie wrote:

    I am Scottish and will generally support team GB, but am slightly less enthusiastic about team England (it's only sport after all!).

    As someone has already pointed out - this discussion as gone way off track.

    However, on the point of national anthems:
    GSTQ is not 'anti-Scottish'. If you/we are affronted by it (or more generally by the monarchy) that's a different issue. But often folk are just anti-English about it.

    The problem with prejudice is that is usually ill-informed and based on selective knowledge of history/culture. The verse that people like to refer as anti-Scottish is a reference to 'Rebel Scots' - i.e. the rebel Jacobites of that time! Not the majority of Scots/Scotland. The verse is not now part of the 'official' anthem (regardless of finding any reference to the verse on the internet!). During the era that the verse was popularly sung, it would have been sung as a political jibe by many Scots too, against Jacobites. And for their part, the Jacobites would switch the words (obviously dedicating the song to the so-called 'Pretender' king). But why let a wee bit of context get in the way of wanting to have a problem with something?

    There is a difference between whether something should actually happen (say a GB team, or GSTQ) and what we want to believe personally. But certainly, if we want respect for our own views we should respect the opinions of others. The booing of a national anthem is generally pointless and sometimes shameful. Rarely heroic.

    I for one think Blatter is a trouble maker and the FAs of the UK (particularly England) should be careful. The Olympics are quickly over and forgotten, and London will leave us with a huge financial bill; let's hope not a huge amount of repentance too when then the real football season start in 2012 and beyond.

    (Clearly I have not yet had a beer tonight.)

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  • 79. At 9:20pm on 29 Aug 2008, Rob wrote:

    If FIFA were planning to merge all the countries together into a GB team that would mean one football league including all the Scottish, Irish and Welsh clubs. This is not going to happen!

    The Premier League and "English" FA will not let it happen - they have made it quite clear that Celtic, Rangers et al are not wanted down South. (I suspect the fans do not want them to take part in England anyway - I do support the idea of the league Cups in England and Scotland being merged though! Would be interesting!)

    To use Spain as an example is ridiculous as they only have one national league. We have 4 - simple.

    Please just stop scaremongering and get used to the fact that the Olympics GB Team is a one-off! If any of the eligible players do not want to take part then fine, but at least give them a chance of taking part in an Olympics in their own country.

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  • 80. At 10:01pm on 29 Aug 2008, yeooow wrote:

    Some suggestions:

    1. GB enters 4 teams for the football competition. Any medals won count towards GB.

    2. GB give up automatic qualification and enter 4 teams into the Olympic qualifiers. Whichever team/teams qualify and win medals count towards GB.

    3. Since the Olympics is being held in London, England be the representative team for GB. Scotland can represent GB when the Olympics is in Edinburgh.

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  • 81. At 10:10pm on 29 Aug 2008, mqlek55 wrote:

    I do think like you, I am a catalan and I feel spain like a pain. We are fighting to get our on teams a part from spain but at the moment it is tough.

    Hope the future will be brighter

    Visca Catalunya

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  • 82. At 10:21pm on 29 Aug 2008, 1Wattie wrote:

    SirDunc. I am Scottish and GSTQ is my national anthem so I find it totally disgusting that any body should boo when it is being played There is a sad element here, which you do not suffer from in England, we know it as the Old Firm. One set of supporters are happy with GSTQ ( although "Flower of Scotland" is fine),just as "Land of Hope and Glory" is for you. The other set of supporters are of the belief that there should be a united Ireland and will never accept GSTQ as their anthem. This ignorance has been ongoing for the best part of 100 years and I`m sahamed to say is holding back any progress that we may wish to have. On your point of anti-English bias let me say some of my best friends are English and I have never encountered a feeling of that from them. To be honest when we meet we have more to be going on with. Lifes too short to give this nonsense any credence we need to come out of the dark ages. Incidentally I would have no problem with a team GB being made up of 11 English players and would support them as I did with the other athletes representing GB at the olympics.
    I see that even the English FA are having second thoughts now, they must be thinking Blatter is up to something.

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  • 83. At 10:25pm on 29 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    To me it is simple. If Scotland (and/or the SFA) and others don't want to be part of Team GB at the Olympics, that's fine. LOCOG (the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) should simply retort that Hampden and Cardiff will not get any Olympic Football. It's a quid pro quo.

    What the SFA/WFA/IFA shouldn't do is prevent individuals from taking part under the British flag. If individuals want to take part, they should apply to the BOA and count themselves in for selection.

    Equally, if the SFA/others don't take part, then they cannot complain about an all-English Team GB.

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  • 84. At 10:44pm on 29 Aug 2008, LooseLoseBreakBrakeThereIsADifference wrote:

    If FIFA were planning to merge all the countries together into a GB team that would mean one football league including all the Scottish, Irish and Welsh clubs. This is not going to happen!

    The Premier League and "English" FA will not let it happen - they have made it quite clear that Celtic, Rangers et al are not wanted down South. (I suspect the fans do not want them to take part in England anyway - I do support the idea of the league Cups in England and Scotland being merged though! Would be interesting!)

    To use Spain as an example is ridiculous as they only have one national league. We have 4 - simple.

    Please just stop scaremongering and get used to the fact that the Olympics GB Team is a one-off! If any of the eligible players do not want to take part then fine, but at least give them a chance of taking part in an Olympics in their own country.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Good post. Can't agree more.

    I am Scottish but live abroad. Before leaving Glasgow you could say I had that sort of Scottish Nationalism. But when you live in another country far from the UK you realise that the rest of the world just lumps us all together as British or from the UK. It is this reason that I have lost my Scottish Nationalistic tendencies and have come to truly appreciate Britain and the UK in general. It's a case of you don't know what you've got till its gone. I have realised that as much as I used to go on about not liking England there is more I like about them than dislike. It is this reason that I support Britain as a whole and the primary reason that I don't want the UK to split. English people can say they would be fine with out Scotland, and they are right. England wouldn't implode if Scotland left the union. Just as Scotland would be fine (and probably fiscally better off) without England. But I honestly believe that we are stronger together than apart. 4th on the 08 Olympic Golds Table for a country/union this size is fantastic.

    And if we are bringing politics into the
    discussion (If the PM is involved, its turned political) I would be more worried about Team GB being absorbed into the Team USA as GB is becoming the 52nd state.

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  • 85. At 11:04pm on 29 Aug 2008, daib0 wrote:

    I am in the strange position of being 'English' but a Scottish nationalist. It's all very well quipping 'we're one nation and all that' but if that were really the case then why haven't the majority-numbered English parlamentarians in these isles formally abandonned the SIXTH verse of the National Anthem:

    "Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the Queen!

    After what the Scots have contributed throughout the last two hundred years that is insult.
    I would never stand for the National anthem, even being, as I said officially 'English'.

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  • 86. At 00:24am on 30 Aug 2008, dds154 wrote:

    Stop being so precious. As a republican, I believe that GSTQ should always be booed but the fact is there are lots of "british" people who don't see themselves as british. I don't care what my passport says, I'm Scottish. Britain means nothing to me (and don't twist that into being an English comment. It's not - I love England).

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  • 87. At 01:05am on 30 Aug 2008, thesecretalchemist wrote:

    A_Carnegie

    So the offending verse only refers to Jacobites? Which means you asking Scots to stand and sing a song that celebrates Culloden, the Highland Clearances, and the attempted eradication of Highland culture and the Gaelic language. Or does that not fall under the 'wee bit of context' you want us to consider?

    Go to Major League baseball in the States and you'll often see a few people in the crowd refusing to stand for their national anthem. In Japan, teachers are losing their jobs because they refuse to compel their students to sing the national anthem at school ceremonies. So why are so many posters here getting upset about what is, in effect, a football tradition - dissing the opposition support! It is that irreverence and edge of aggression that makes football so exciting to attend.

    What the posts here show is the complexity of British identity. Scots of my generation have strong memories of watching Coe, Cram and Ovett compete for Olympic gold. We couldn't wait for Wimbledon to come on in the summer. We'll boo Barry Ferguson, Craig Gordon or Stephen McManus when they play against us at club football, and cheer them in a Scotland strip. We support Britain in the Olympics, and Europe in the Ryder Cup. We do all this effortlessly, consciously, and sleep well at night. It has nothing to do with our political beliefs.

    And this is why the Team GB idea is so offensive - it does not respect that complexity. "If the Scots don't like it then they should let the English get on with it" seems to be the attitude of the Pro- camp. Imagine it was the other way round - the SFA for the idea but the English footballing establishment against. Who would accept the argument "If the English don't like it they should shut up and let the Scots represent Team GB"?

    No one would accept it. Therefore, it doesn't work the other way round. The UK is not the property of England to do with what they please. To the posters who have said "we are all British", could I point out that it is a UNION. That implies an equal voice. If one member is against it, it should not happen. I know this fact has been highlighted more in breach in the last 300 years, but that just serves to show the flawed nature of the Union. It doesn't mean we should perpetuate it 'cos Lord Coe has a be in his bonnet.

    I live abroad, so could someone tell me: 1707-2007. Last year was the 300th anniversary of the Union. The celebrations and street parties must have been massive. What was it like?

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  • 88. At 01:36am on 30 Aug 2008, Exiled_bairn wrote:

    The 6th verse in GSTQ is not about crushing Scots but about crushing "rebellious" Scots i.e Jacobites. Many Scots, including my anscestors, fought against these rebellious Scots.

    As nobody seems to calling for the descendents of James the 7th to be restored as monarchs ( presently some old German Duke) The verse is not required now.

    I too am a Scot Nat but if we are going to raise arguments they must be based on fact not nonsense.

    No to A GB team. NO! NO!

    We can't risk losing our independent FIFA status.

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  • 89. At 01:50am on 30 Aug 2008, Exiled_bairn wrote:

    The battle of Culloden was a re-run of the battle of the Boyne and will probably be celebrated by many Scots of that persuasion (The majority). Any battle though is a tragedy and should not be a celebartion. That debate however is nothing to do with football.

    The simple point is do we want to have 4 uk teams or one.

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  • 90. At 06:48am on 30 Aug 2008, bbm wrote:

    I presume you will all be booing Graham Alexander (Born in Coventry, England), Kris Commons (born in Mansfield, England), James Morrison (born in Darlington, England), Shaun Maloney (Born in Malaysia !), if they play in your next 2 internationals ? As these are British Citizens who were born outside Scotland but are representing your country. Just like Micah Richards playing in the 2012 GB Olympic team, born outside Scotland but representing your country ???

    I don't know why any of the Scottish posters onhere think they have a say in this - this is politics - this issue will be decided by the Government at the time - unless Scotland devolves by then the elected Scottish MP's will be sat in London and if in the interest of the 2012 Olympics according to the Government they will tow the line. And therein lies the problem - the current PM is Scottish, elected by Scots, however his Party is only in power because of the combined votes of Britain - As stated earlier England has a much greater population so wields more power, Gordon Brown (And majority of Scottish MPs ) cares much more about his personal status than the wishes of the Scottish people. the only solution is for you to vote SNP and devolve. ( The Union Flag would look rubbish without the Blue on it though - lol )

    On a seperate note, I am English (Scottish descent- at least partly ) and have during my life worked and played in scotland for about 3 years of it, and I must be thick because I really didn't think we English were despised the way that this blog has demonstrated. I can honestly say I have never had an arguement/run in/confrontation with a Scot ever. But then I have never treated any one I have met as a Scot, I find it much more natural and easier to treat people I might as people. I really don't care what nationality they are - and the amount of racism on here is scary,andit is racism ( for the individual who said the Scots and English are not races, coule he please explain what they are then ?) - the fact people on here would not support another individual who is representing them ( Might not have been your personal choice for that personto represent you, but if you want that right I would get of this board and start on a new career path ) simply because they were born in a different part of the same island is racism and if thought about logically, without the input of peers is a really sad attitude to have during your very short existence.

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  • 91. At 08:25am on 30 Aug 2008, vanroojdotcom wrote:

    It's not the individual teams competing in the World Cup that is the fear, it's losing their special voting status. There's a panel of about 20 countries who can vote on FIFA stuff and we've got 4 of them.

    What other countries want to happen is that the UK gets one vote (that is Scotland, NI, Wales and the English FA form a committee to have one voice on the panel).

    This would NOT affect the chances of the individual countries playing football, but would reduce the power each FA holds. It's this kind of Braveheart mis-information, backs-against-the-wall, the English are trying to take away our nation, that is so prevalent in the Celtic nations today – stir up rumours about being attacked and everybody hates the English and starts boo-ing the National Anthem – it's the same principle behind, the Balkans' civil war and the sudden vigilante attacks on the Italian Romas – spreading lies to make your people seem like they're losing something they are not and it's all the fault of someone else.

    Get ready for lots more demonstrations and lies as the Scottish National Party start their campaign for independence.

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  • 92. At 09:05am on 30 Aug 2008, A_Carnegie wrote:

    No 87 - thesecrectalchemist

    Absolutely, identity is complex. And everyones has the right to protest. My preference is for respectful protest.

    My point was really that GSTQ is not inherently anti-Scottish (post 78). The notorious verse is misunderstood and anachronistic.

    Highlanders and Scots fought on both sides of Culloden! I can assure you there was plenty of Gaelic culture/language in the village and house I (and generations of my family) grew up in on one of the Hebrides. The decline of Gaelic as an every day language is also very complex.

    Is mise, le meas (Respectfully yours).

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  • 93. At 10:32am on 30 Aug 2008, U11846789 wrote:

    The obvious and best choice is for the Union to be disolved.

    Then each team could compete forever and a day as Scotland, England, Wales and N Ireland. And we could forget all about Team GB and all that nonsense.

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  • 94. At 10:57am on 30 Aug 2008, Brian Jeffrey wrote:

    I certainly do not hate the English but I do recognise an intense and sometime unealthy rivalry which I suspect is reciprocated by the English towards us.

    I do not seek to excuse the booing of "God Save The Queen" however I would suggest that the bitter rivalry is probably at the root of it.

    The Welsh and the Scots have adopted their own national anthems for uniquely Scots or Welsh occasions. The English (and Northern Irish for that matter) have chosen not to do so and use "God Save The Queen" to represent their national anthem when in fact it was never inetended as an English (or Northern Irish) anthem at all. As a result "God Save The Queen" remains firmly associated with England (rater than exclusively Britain) and, particularly when not used in a British context (such as a Northern Ireland game) attracts the emotions associated with the bitter rivalry as previously mentioned.

    It sems to me to be difficult for English supporters to disinguish between Britain and England or at least difficult for them to express their well founded English nationalism. England has much of which to be very proud. Surely they can come up with an English anthem to reflect their own national identity to be used at uniquely English events, as could Northern Ireland. That way "God Save The Queen" could be reserved for British events and would surely be much more widely supported across all 4 home nations.

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  • 95. At 11:00am on 30 Aug 2008, daib0 wrote:

    The Sixth verse of the 'National Anthem' was of course devised in the 18th century, but my point was that it also very much alive today as an official verse of the union. The very words 'God Save the Queen' applied equally well to Victoria as to Elizabeth II (well, Elizabeth I if you're Scottish but that's another story). The same as 'rebellious Scots', of whom there are also quantities today if we are to believe with conviction this hymn, as there were before. I simply believe that those wishing to save the Union should first remove those dreadful words once and for all, regardless of whom your ancestors may have fought for or against.

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  • 96. At 11:10am on 30 Aug 2008, Gary wrote:

    dont you people have other more important thing to consider in your lives, like familys maybe. Everyone look after their own life, their own happiness every single one of you people will be dead at some point consider doing something more important with yourself than fight fight moan fight complain argue. The human race makes me sick

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  • 97. At 12:44pm on 30 Aug 2008, A_Carnegie wrote:

    Skellionz - come on, this is a public forum. Maybe you should spend more time with your family and you'll feel better about society :)

    DaidhidhO - I basically agreed with you.
    The verse is actually not part of the 'official' version/usage of the anthem. But we can't re-write history, and the verse will always linger for some. So maybe it maybe the whole anthem should be scrapped.

    My main point holds that GSTQ is not inherently anti-Scottish - but if enough people don't like it, that's fair enough.

    I am neither pro or anti GSTQ/Union/Independence. I am quite sure I will have had ancestors, relatives and fellow Scots with very differing views on these things.

    I just think there needs to be a broader understanding of the issues involve, and that applies to any idea of a 'one off' GB football team. What will the legacy really be? What are the guarantees? It all smacks of ego amongst the authorities - not very Corinthian/Olympian.

    Anyway, we all know that this is an argument with no 'winners' - it's about participation. Much more Olympian!

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  • 98. At 1:34pm on 30 Aug 2008, dialup_dave wrote:

    I must say I have been impressed by both the quality of posts here and passion with which they have been delivered. Clearly most of the posters have thought carefully before putting their feelings down in words.

    However lets not let it descend into a political discussion about the relative merits of the break up of the union, historical comment about who did what to whom or cultural accusations of racism...

    These are largely irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that involvement in a GB team (for the Welsh, Scots or N.Irish) is a threat to our existence as independent international footballing countries. This is indisputable. So of course we are going to object to it in the strongest possible terms.

    We Scots love our team, we love them through all the disjointed performances, the missed chances, the desperate clearances and the glorious if somewhat cliched failures. To lose them would leave a hole in our lives.

    I'm sure the sweaty, bearded guy I shared a moment of joy with, after Craig Beattie's 88th minute winner against Georgia would surely agree.........

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  • 99. At 1:48pm on 30 Aug 2008, sweedos wrote:

    Putting football aside for one minute i would add the following;

    Well, i've read every comment on here and frankly dissapointed with the attitiude of "us against them" We are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We are one Country and the envy /example to the rest of the World.

    I am the son of an English Father and Irish Mother born in England and served in the British Army (Note: i said British Army not English or scottish or welsh or irish).

    A working example of team GB is the British Army. When i swore allegiance to the flag (the union flag) and to defend Queen and Country the person stood next me doing exactly the same was Scottish! Indeed, in my regiment an English regiment we had all four parts of the union represented. There is inter-rivalry between regiments of course and that doesnt matter if a regiment is English, scottish or welsh or irish. But we are united as one against all foe. I have served alongside the Argyl and Southern Highlanders and they were some of the best lads you could meet. We didn't boo the national anthem when we sung it either!

    People talk about not wanting a team GB, tell that that to the boys covering each others arses in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are a team from all parts of the Union and they are respected and regarded as the best throughout the world and are known as the "British Army"! (they are team GB!)

    All this talk of breaking-up the Union and a fantastic Country, is very said. Yes i said fantastic country... as it is! - I have travelled and worked all over the world and i can tell you for all its faults and there many. It's still the best place to be, make no mistake. The grass is not always greener!!

    So like it or not the UK is a strong as the sum of the parts as whole. Seperatley they are weaker and would not hold as much power or position in the world if they were not as one! That One being "THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND"

    People wanting to break up the union be careful what you wish for?

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  • 100. At 2:27pm on 30 Aug 2008, pompeyboyzinleeds wrote:

    I haven't seen this idea banded around yet for this....but. In the Commonwealth games we have the separate nations where England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are represented individualally. Why dowe have to go to the Olympics as a Team GB? why not have Team England and Team Scotland etc.......then all 4 nations could try and qualify without fear of Sepp Blatter wanting to destroy footballing legacies

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  • 101. At 2:43pm on 30 Aug 2008, tennesseejohn wrote:

    Everytime I see Sepp Blatter mentioned in a article, I see all the pundits (Scottish) crying the end is nigh! Okay, there's not a lot of news to talk about, albeit the Scottish premier league (Rangers, Celtic) and the fall of the giant Gretna. So if no story, invent one. Who is this Blatter? Did he march into FIFFA with his goose stepping troops or is he an elected official? Chick and his mighty army from Paisley, the saviors of the Associations, never mention the mighty San Marino when debating that the Union will have to present a team in the Wold cup or European Championship, if they collaborate as Olympians. As I see it, nothing is true concerning either World cup or European status. Wales has a Football Association, yet no teams to talk of outside the English leagues. That's not new. So let's come clean. Columnists' stories are what they create - not what happens. A team, whether it be an Olympic team or Football team is composed of players from different areas. Don't tell me Scotland's a place of national harmony - a Union outside the Union. It's not; look at Celtic and Rangers. Some favour Scotland, others favour the Republic of Ireland. Sorry, but we Scots can contemplate our navels for far to long. Scottish football is cronyism, and enjoys it. That's the real debate.

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  • 102. At 3:02pm on 30 Aug 2008, cailean wrote:

    Why have a GB team at all?
    Wouldn't that show Blatter what the Home Nations, founders of football, think of his idea to dabble in politics?

    The BOC could submit a list of sports they intend to compete in, and leave football off the list.

    Then we could carry on harmoniously as usual.

    The Olympics is nothing compared to what it was 20 years ago, when you had kids competing. Yes, I know there still are kids there today, but aren't we all shocked to see a youngster competing against adults? Professionalism has been brought into an amateur sport. Don't the pros have enough chances to make money and win medals?
    This is all about money and greed. Shame on Blatter and his supporters!

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  • 103. At 3:39pm on 30 Aug 2008, ayrjambo wrote:

    Great article Chick..... this topic would not rear it's ugly head if the forthcoming Olympics were in any other country, so let the English put in a team and let's put this to bed. As for booing the 'National' anthem then let me remind our cousins south of the border that the second verse includes the line "rebellious Scots to crush", so I do not think that this merits my standing to attention for a ditty that is quite simply disrespectful to the Scottish nation.

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  • 104. At 4:44pm on 30 Aug 2008, Dave H wrote:

    It's not often I agree with Alex Salmond (being English, and all that), but this is one where he has my support. There should not be a combined GB football team at the Olympics. The damage to the UK football scene from such folly would last far beyond the four-year gap between Olympic events.

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  • 105. At 4:53pm on 30 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    Excellent article.

    Also, why should clubs be missing their best players at the start of the season. They should be playing in league and European matches, not messing about in an amateur competition.

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  • 106. At 6:48pm on 30 Aug 2008, Bristol Tree wrote:

    I would love a team GB at the olympics but at the same time i completely understand the arguments of the scos welsh and northern irish. Look at it from a club football level. I am a nottingham forest fan, but if you said that players from forest, derby leicester etc had to group together to form a 'team east midlands' id tell you where to go... i wouldnt have it. this is the same

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  • 107. At 8:43pm on 30 Aug 2008, Fairfax43 wrote:

    I was at the White City in 1968 when Great Britain played Spain in an Olympic qualifying tie. This was in the days when we still had amateur players. Unfortunately, we lost and so did not go on to compete in Mexico City.
    However, my abiding memory was of the mixture of fans in the crowd and in particular a sizeable contingent of fans in tartan who were as enthusiastic as the rest of us in their support.
    We have no problem supporting Scottish players in our club football. As a Norwich City fan, I immediately recall Jimmy Bone, Ted MacDougall, Robert Fleck and Bryan Gunn as local heroes.
    It has been done before and it worked. Bring on the British football Team - and I still want the opportunity to beat (or lose to) the Scots to be returned to the domestic calendar.

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  • 108. At 8:57pm on 30 Aug 2008, rmarkwilliams wrote:

    This is a nonsense. If FIFA wants to kick the 4 home nations out of international competitions they will do it, but the reality is that they won't because the British position is far from unique.

    The Faroe Islands are a province of Denmark (so is Greenland but they aren't members of FIFA). Macau and Hong Kong are part of China, but they are members of FIFA (although Tibet is not). Guam and Puerto Rico are members of FIFA and are both territories of the United States. Tahiti is a member of FIFA and a French Overseas "Collectivity" (although French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe are not members of FIFA but are French Overseas Territories).

    FIFA has no interest in opening this can of worms, but the reality is that the likelihood of a British team being able to take part will be obstructed by the petty minded officials in the Scottish and Welsh FA's.

    One possible solution would be for the BOA to ask the English FA to organise the selection of a team, making selection open to all eligible British players, many of whom will play in the English leagues. If the other associations then decide to retaliate against the non-English players who take part they will just be cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

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  • 109. At 10:51pm on 30 Aug 2008, TheJags wrote:

    To say that no Scots, Welshmen or Northern Irish players would make to 2012 team is laughable. In an Under 23 tournament four years away, how can anyone predict who will be involved?

    What about Gareth Bale? Still in his teens yet able - on his day - to tear a hole through most Premiership teams' right flank, or John Fleck, the young Glasgweigan that became the youngest player to ever appear in a British FA Cup Final at the end of last season. He damn near scored too. Now, obviously for every talented kid Wales, Scotland or N.Ireland can produce, England will probably have ten, but who's to say who will and won't make the grade?

    If I were you, I'd take a look at my own national team and climb down off of my high horse. No wonder we never wanted to be involved, even before Blatter admitted he wasn't certain of our future safety.

    Why risk it for a one-off amateur tournament that no one cares about?

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  • 110. At 08:34am on 31 Aug 2008, galbijim wrote:

    Current GB team based on international performances:

    Gordon, Hutton, Terry, Ferdinand, A Cole, J Cole, Ferguson, Gerrard, Bale, McFadden, Healy. Subs: McGregor, James, W Brown, McManus, Bridge, Beckham, Fletcher, Koumas, Rooney, Heskey

    I know this is not an under 23 squad but I'm using it to highlight the players who have been in form for their countries over the past year or so. Although on paper England have a strong team, we all know that football is not played on paper, hence the omission of Lampard, Owen, and Bellamy from Wales.

    This highlights that players from all countries have shown they can perform on the international stage, so why would this be different at under-23 level. It's sensible to assume a GB team would have a high percentage of English players, as England has about 80% of the population of the UK live in England. However to suggest that a UK team would be made up entirely of English talent is quite frankly absurd.

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  • 111. At 08:44am on 31 Aug 2008, thorntont wrote:

    Football aside, would the English, Welsh or Northern Irish sing an anthem that promoted their own destruction? See 4th verse below;

    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
    May by thy mighty aid,
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush,


    Doubt it, somehow.

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  • 112. At 09:39am on 31 Aug 2008, thebhoys69 wrote:

    The last point is actually incorrect. I don't support the GB plan because the lack of Scottish players. I don't want the history of Scottish football to be ruined just for the sake of the Olympics. Football should not be in the Olympics to start with and Scotland need to protect their individualism as otherwise, FIFA will take that away. Lastly, there are a number of Scotland players who would make the GB team. England aren't as good as people think and that has been the problem for England in recent years.

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  • 113. At 10:47am on 31 Aug 2008, nicksufc22 wrote:

    Almost as bad as the possibility of losing our national football teams is what the BBC is allowing or even encouraging to happen to our language.

    'was sat', that's not Scots or English and Chick's blog is not the only place I have heard this offensive phrase - radio 4 news presenters have started using it - please 'I sat' or 'I was sitting'.

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  • 114. At 11:33am on 31 Aug 2008, sambaandparmo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 115. At 1:05pm on 31 Aug 2008, Gooner wrote:

    I don't get any of this.

    Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain; it is part of the United Kingdom so why it is being considered as part of GB, I don't know. Neither GB nor UK is a sovereign country. They are collective administrative regions, with GB being 3 separate countries sharing one island.

    England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are most definitely sovereign countries. To be Scottish or English is a birthright equally as individual and recognisable as being German or Spanish. Same for the Welsh and Irish (northern or southern). There is no argument that says each is not entitled to a national team.

    Blatter cannot change that. The fact that GB enters some competitions as a collective ‘nation’ might ensure we stand more chance of victory or medals but it doesn’t inspire the same nationalistic pride or fervour that watching England or Scotland competing does. Not for me, anyway.

    And country representation ratios fluctuate all the time, as the best talents come through. As an Englishman, would I really feel any affiliation with a GB football team that contains only 5 English players, for example? Not in the same way watching 11 Englishmen does.

    And if you don’t think Scotland and Wales are our nearest rivals, get out an atlas and check.

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  • 116. At 6:00pm on 31 Aug 2008, and on the 8th day God Croated Spurs wrote:

    If a GB football team is forced through by 'our' politicians how long will we have to wait until the GB team is merged into a Euro team? How many Brits will be supporting that?
    What is Olympic Football anyway? I watched a Croatian 4th Division West game yesterday and can see the point in that as it fits into a ladder of league football. Can Argentina with their Olympic medals say that they are the best national team in the World?

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  • 117. At 8:00pm on 31 Aug 2008, Brianface wrote:

    Were i scottish, i wouldn't want a GB team either. my petty, unjustified patriotic little soul probably couldn't handle the fact that none of my countrymen would actually get into the team, on account of being terrible.

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  • 118. At 8:01pm on 31 Aug 2008, Elliott wrote:

    It all seems a bit silly to me that there is such a fuss over the olympic football tournament.
    Winning it would be great but do any of you posting on this blog regularly watch under 23 football at the olympics??
    If a team has to be entered, let the english go it alone, i couldnt bear the thought of 'English' commentators Hansen and Lawrenson covering Scotsmen with their arrogant grins and verbal diarrhea.
    As for booing the anthem, QUITE RIGHT!!! A large population of Scotland greatly object to being part of the union, do not believe that we should be subject to some old spoiled dour faced woman and certainly wouldn't waste a prayer (if they were religious) asking god to single her out for salvation.
    2010 Independance - Lets take our country back!

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  • 119. At 9:37pm on 31 Aug 2008, welltravelled hornet wrote:

    The easiest way is for the UK to break up. Im sick of hearing that Scotland Wales and NI Doesnt want any thing to to with Britain. Well does England want anything to do with them? I think not. We are made to feel like the bullies. With 80 % of the population in England we have a bigger pool to choose from and more taxes to raise. Its a shame that it has got to this as the four countries have worked very well together for 100s of years. And while we are at it, could we ahve are own parliment as well!

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  • 120. At 11:07pm on 31 Aug 2008, wilfestan wrote:

    I love the way the socks think we even care.

    The sooner the union is disbanded the better and we can get away from this chippy nonsense.

    Having had the misfortune to work in Scotland and experience the wanton ethnic hatred towards working class English men (we were erecting crash barrier on the motorways, agents of imperialism apparently) I can't wait until this question becomes passe.

    Vote SNP set England free!

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  • 121. At 06:53am on 01 Sep 2008, pompeyboyzinleeds wrote:

    Having read through more of the posts a thought crept into my mind that would almost rule out any possibility for Sepp Blater to bring in any rules around making Team GB more than just a one off event for the olympics.

    For the 4 nations in question we have 4 national leagues and various national cup competitions that winning results in participation in European Competiton. If Blatter was to require Team GB to become a permanant thing after the Olympics then it's furthest reaching requirement would be that there be 1 National League competition and various cups as qualification to the Chmpions League or UEFA cup would need to come from GB and not the individual nation.

    That just would not happen and I could not see even Blatter try and change that so team GB would be ruled out by that fact alone I think

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  • 122. At 08:21am on 01 Sep 2008, iffeldorf wrote:

    If FIFA wished to change the status of the four home Football Associations it would simply do so. The creation of a GB Olympic football team as a precedent for ending the historic independence has no relevance. Even though the England team is not very good it does have enormous appeal worldwide, second only to Brazil. Appeal means cash and I suspect to people like Blatter the jingle of cash in pockets is a lovely jingle. Anyway would you wish to give up five star London hotels and a plush seat next to the Queen for a GB team? Thought so.

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  • 123. At 11:42am on 01 Sep 2008, junkers wrote:

    pompeyboyzinleeds

    I do not believe fact we have 4 separate leagues could stop FIFA making a team UK permanent. For instance, it was relatively recently that Brasil had national league. I remember in the 70s or 80s Brasil complained that basis we had separate leagues did not make us unique and did not entitle us to field 4 national teams.

    I think it was around then that we stopped fielding a team UK in Olympics, as other countries said how can you be separate in most competitions but combine for Olympics. You are therefore not entititled to field four separate national teams, which is reason we stopped playing in Olympics.

    In fact it may raise even more eyebrows with others given that we are currently playing as separate nations in Euro under 21 championship which is qualifying route to Olympics for other European nations.

    I believe it would be best to select national side who progresses furthest in that competition to represent UK.

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  • 124. At 3:58pm on 01 Sep 2008, ThunderScience wrote:

    I did read a suggestion there was a play-off qualifier between the four sides, the winner wearing the GB shirt on all our behalf.

    Sounds like the fairest method to me.

    That way no nation's FA is at risk and we all get to kick lumps out of each other before there's any silverware actually up for grabs.

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  • 125. At 9:21pm on 01 Sep 2008, hakluytbean wrote:

    Crumbs. Are we going to have chippy nationalism, history lessons from non-historians, and sweeping generalisations about 'what all Scots think' or 'what all English people want' all the way to 2012? All for a football tournament no-one really cares about. Well no-one except maybe followers of the women's game because apparently some permutation of UK players would have a decent chance of a medal.

    And why don't the flags come out when it comes to boxing or hockey, two other sports with separate governing bodies but one Olympic team, and why can rugby players form a British and Irish Lions, or a Britain rugby league team, without toys being thrown out of the pram. Crazy.

    After the first 30 comments or so I nearly topped myself, but luckily I lived long enough to read comment 124:
    "I did read a suggestion there was a play-off qualifier between the four sides, the winner wearing the GB shirt on all our behalf. Sounds like the fairest method to me."

    Sound fair to me too.

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