Students force home rule issue
Best of luck to the British men's and women's football teams at the World University Games in Belgrade.
They've both reached the semi-finals of the competition, the women after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out against Brazil, the men under similar circumstances against France. They'll play Japan and Ukraine respectively with a place in the final at stake.
Hope they make it. I wonder if the Scottish Football Association, Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association are rooting for them too?
Given all the politics, fuss, and acrimony over the GB football team for the 2012 Olympics, perhaps not, especially when you discover that the home nations are playing together under the GBR team name in the competition.
For example, Craig Sutherland in the men's squad is an Edinburgh boy, and a Scottish hockey international to boot. Talented lad. Striker Gwennan Harries has played more than 20 times for the Welsh women's full international side. Exodus Geohoghan (Kettering Town) and Ben Purkiss (York City) have both played at England C international level.
During the build-up to the competition, the men's squad spent 10 days at a preparation camp at Lilleshall, Shropshire, where their warm-up games included two matches against League of Wales Europa Cup entrants, TNS.
The argument may be made that this is just an amateur level competition, and as such doesn't register in the professional world, yet surely the lines are blurred, and the point somewhat moot.
These are British football teams made up of British passport holders with players qualified to represent England, Scotland and Wales... and I bet they're loving it. Just as they would if they were allowed to pull on a GB shirt together at the world's biggest sporting event in three years' time in London.