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Would you back a GB 2012 football team?

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They have a name for this. It's called a political football and they kick it around the corridors of power for limited benefit to the players.

Many people were swept along by the moment when London won the Olympic bid.

It was surely the biggest moment for British sport in several generations and can only have been good news for sportspeople and sports fans alike.

Yet buried in the small print all along has been a clause that is now setting one home nation against another.

Since the Singapore decision in 2005 the British Olympic Association (BOA) started up discussions with the Football Associations of England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland to find a way to put together a truly British team in both men's and women's competition for the Olympics.

The BOA tried to get Fifa to accept the England women's team as Great Britain's representatives for the Beijing Games next summer. "No problem", was the effective reply, "as long as all the home nations agree to that".

Stalemate once again.

While the Football Associations of England and Northern Ireland have been keen on the idea, the Scottish and Welsh FAs do not want to encourage something they feel could threaten their individual existences in international football.

This week the British Olympic Association has received confirmation from the International Olympic Committee that the host qualifying rule will apply to all team sports. To translate the legalese - it means that the BOA has won the argument.

When it comes to the Olympics the IOC have sway, not Fifa, and the BOA can select who they want to represent us. But it can't be that simple and, of course, it isn't.

Are the SFA and FAW right to hold back on the idea? Is Gordon Smith of the SFA right to hope that their players should not participate?

Given various quotas about players' ages and professional-to-amateur ratios, what would a British football team even look like? Could it be taken seriously without the participation of Scotland and Wales?

Should the England womens' football team (give or take a few members of the squad) represent Britain in Beijing?

And, all other things being equal, just what would your England/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Wales starting XI be?

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posted Aug 12, 2008


What are you going on about? FIFA's stance is the exact oposite of what you are claiming.

All other Olympic sports are represented by team GB why should football be any different.

I could see an arguement for making the 4 home nations compete as individual entities at teh Olympics but that is another issue. At the moment it is team GB for the Olympics and therefore the football team should also be team GB for the Olympics.

Do the Lions Rugby tours stop England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competing individually in the World Cup and 6 Nations? No. Why make an exception for football?

In terms of the team make up this will always be a contentious issue but it should be the best XI available rather than a balanced mix of nations. Given that it won't happen until 2012 and it will be U23s that means no one knows who that will be as the players are all under 19 now!

This is just become a partisan issue because of ignorance of people like yourself.

Team GB at the Olympics has no bearing on the National sides in other competitions. Team GB at the Olympics is OK for ALL other sports why make an exception for football? Why kick up a fuss for this one sport? It seems petty, mall minded and ignorant to support such a case.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

If we can compete separately in rugby and then compete as the british lions on tour every 4 years, then surely we can do London 2012 as a united football team. I'm a very patriotic Scotsman but i would support a british team just as much because we are recognised as british nowadays. There is no need to be worried about the change being permanent, there has never been a call for a british empire team. For how many years did the clans fight each other yet we stand as a united Scotland. If we can unite clans and we are united kingdoms, then we can unite football teams. Just for one occasion.

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comment by Hemmers (U8558357)

posted Aug 19, 2008

Some people blame FIFA for restricting the rights of the four british FA's in selecting a team Britain. That is not correct; it is the refusal of the british olympic committee to allow this. They are quite hypocritical here because the four british Fa's field national sides in the Commonwealth Games.
FIFA are perfectly correct in their stance. Once a team gb is registered, we all become one footballing country. britain cannot exist in one tournament but not in the other, ie we can't have our cake and eat it! No one can. So, this issue is about us football fans choosing one, or the other!

What utter twaddle. Are you making this up as you type?
FIFA are not preventing the four home nations from coming to an agreement with the BOA and setting up a GB team. Neither is the BOA preventing it - they WANT a GB team.

As for us not being able to enter different teams into different events, what are you on about? Every other sport in the world does it.
Rugby has the Home Nations team and the Lions team, every commonwealth sport sends home nations competitors to the CGs, and then those same people go under the GB banner to the Olympics.

There is nothing to prevent a GB football team. The BOA want it, I doubt FIFA actually care. The only thing preventing it is the sullen insistence of the four FAs that they want to compete individually and be different to EVERY OTHER SPORT IN EXISTENCE, and the IOC will not permit that, because you would end up with a stupid medal table with Team GB, and then the four Home Nations all listed seperately with one team entered in one sport.

As for the funding issue.
It's a simple matter of mathematics. England has more atheletes than the other Home Nations by virtue of it's larger population. Ergo: It gets a larger slice of the funding when UK Sport dishes it out.

Now, that's for home country representation. As I understand it, GB squad types get their funding straight from UK Sport, not SportEngland/SportScotland/Elite Cymru. Now, if you want the GB Cycling fund, for example, to be divvied up between the home nations, then be my guest. And guess what, instead of GB being able to maintain a world class velodrome for everyone to train at, noone will be able to afford to maintain a world class velodrome, and everyone's standards and levels of training will fall - it's an economy of scale.

I know a number of GB squad shooters. Shooting is currently one of Scotland's most successful sports. In fact, the 3 best shooters in the UK at the moment are Scottish (Matt Thompson, Neil Stirton and Jon Hammond).

They're all quite happy to represent GB. Why? Because they know they get way more funding at the moment than Holyrood would ever supply. They get funded to train, and money to fly out to european and world championships.
(and they also know they'll get the chance to trounce the English lads at the Commonwealths, so they're quite happy to bide their time).

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posted Nov 12, 2008

I see this subject has reared it's ugly head again.Let's not kid ourselves that if we enter a GB football team in the 2012 Olympics, we will still be allowed to keep our national identity afterwards. Let's hope the national FA's of Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland still refuse to allow their players to compete as team GB. If this does happen, and there is a team GB competing in football, I, for one, will not support them.

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posted Nov 12, 2008

To be fair prellie the subject had died down for about 3 months. The thread was stated over a year ago.

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posted Nov 18, 2008

I was commenting on the rash of articles in the popular press in the last few weeks. They even wanted Sir Alex Ferguson to manage the team!!

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posted Mar 11, 2009

And I see that now there WILL be a GB football team in the 2012 Olympics, even though all the Home Countries FA's have said none of it's players will be allowed to play, so, all the players will be English! So, a GB team, all English, but that's nothing new, as the English seem to consider themselves as representing the UK anyway.

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posted Apr 7, 2009

Because we DO!!!!!!

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posted Apr 7, 2009

Hate the English, that is!!!!!

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