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Team GB shirt not a neat fit for Scots

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Jim Spence | 11:28 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Some Scottish football fans may be asking what is it that the British Olympic Association doesn't get when it comes to a GB football team.

Their announcement that an "historic agreement" had been reached allowing footballers from all the home nations to play for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games has caused uproar among the Tartan Army.

The majority of Scottish football fans appear not to want to be part of a Team GB.

Simples, as the meerkats say.

Many will argue that we compete in the Olympics under the GB banner in other events, but when it comes to football, the BOA is, I suspect, about to become acquainted with hidden depths of feelings they never realised existed.

Why? Well, the national football team always has been a source of pride and self-expression for the vast bulk of Scots.

Sometimes there is no logical or rational reasoning for why something is done in a certain way, but many Scottish football fans will say, that still doesn't make it the wrong way.

And, anyway, they will tell you that there is a very good reason why Scotland don't compete as Team GB when it comes to football.

They will tell you that, if Scotland did, it would be all the excuse some within the Fifa family would need to try to strip Scotland of her unique position as a separate footballing entity.

Someone once described Scotland as being a bit like the Vatican City: a state within a state.

But, whatever the truth of the matter, for Scottish fans it appears to mainly be a state within a state of mind when it comes to football.

The BOA may wish it were otherwise, but for the bulk of football followers, Scotland does not equate to England and does not equal Team GB.

Scotland is Scotland on the football field, they will tell you, and that is the end of it.

From the wonder of the Wembley Wizards, to the swaggering insouciance of Baxter, Law and Johnstone as they demolished Alf Ramsey's World Cup Willie's, Scots have a picture in their minds of what it means to play for Scotland at football.

And that picture, for the majority of Scottish fans, doesn't feature Scots in a Team GB shirt.

The Scottish Football Association has made its opposition crystal clear on the matter.

George Peat, the outgoing president of the SFA, has had his critics, but his statement on this issue probably echoes the views of most Scottish football fans.

He said: "I am absolutely astounded that they have put out this statement. I know nothing about any such agreement and we want nothing to do with this tournament."


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  • Comment number 1.

    The arrogance of the FA & BOA is matched only by their stupidity.

    They had the blessing of the other home nations to select an all English squad for the Olympics,a situation that would probably be the case if it was selected on merit, yet have chosen to invoke a legal clause,presumably dating back to the days when amateurs represented GB in Olympic football, that allows them to select whoever they wish,with no guarantee that every player invited will agree to take part.

    It would appear that yet again the FA have chosen to demonstrate that they still think they should be running football worldwide and they wonder why they got such a lack of support when bidding for the World Cup.
    Whether the others are correct in their view that a Team GB could lead to a demand for a permanent united team or not they are independent bodies and should not be treated as lackeys by the FA.

    I am reassured by the fact that, despite probably being allowed to play all their matches at Wembley,Team GB has as much chance of winning the tournament as Albion Rovers, with apologies to Albion Rovers !!

  • Comment number 2.

    Naive at best from the BOA. This was always going to be a contentious issue and to so boldly declare any agreement is....I'm going to stick with "naive".

    A GB Team would be ideal for the Olympics, especially with it being at home and should be pushed through but whether this will consist of a solely English line up remains to be seen.

    Without wanting to sound too detrimental to Scotland or Northern Ireland....I couldn't name a player that would come in and enhance the team. That may be the true source of the resistance, the possibility for embarrassment should they agree and then not field any players anyway

  • Comment number 3.

    Can somebody tell me why the Home Nation's FAs have to get involved? Surely the only blessing the players need is that of their clubs as they pay their wages?

  • Comment number 4.


    Another question, what would happen if the stars of their respective national teams decided to play anyway?

  • Comment number 5.

    How about English fans not wanting a GB team? As with devolution nobody is asking the question of whether England want to keep the union going. Personally I would love to see the 'Home' countries go their own way. Personally I would love to see a GB team but only if it truly represented all the home countries. A token Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish player would be quite offensive to me. Equal numbers or bust.

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't know why the SFA are up in arms over this as I can't think of any Scotish players that would get into the squad on merit. There are a good two or three from Wales that should though.

    It's also about time that the Home Nations stop behaving like the UN security council. I don't understand why we have all four countries on the rules board. And lets face it, it is them that have stopped any technology being involved in football. I think the last time it came up the NI and the Welsh FA's voted not to trial the options out there.

  • Comment number 7.

    It seems the BOA are students at the Neil Doncaster School of 'Broad Agreement'.

  • Comment number 8.

    @5. You have to be completely joking!!! Have equal numbers!!! What sort of mickey mouse thing is that. You pick the best players. If the majority come from one country because they are better then so be it. You are just going down a PC route that will fail completely.

  • Comment number 9.

    #5 - you must be having a laugh - equal numbers!!

    There is no way it would be allowed :-)

    However being completely realistic, is there a suitable number of good quality Scots, Welsh or Irish to have that equal split? - and no I am not English, but a flag waving patriotic Scot.

    One thing is for sure - Beckham must not be chosen, but I am sure that was just a wind-up

  • Comment number 10.

    Agree with #3.

    Whilst being English probably wont garner me much support on this blog, I will say that the FA as it stands is an embarrassment to most England fans.

    I'm all for a GB team for 2012, but as #3 said, the respective FAs should not be involved, and BOA should administer the team, and any player qualified to play should be able to make a free choice to take part or not.

    I think they asked the FA to look after it after the 3 others voiced their disapproval of the team. This passing of the buck by the BOA has led to the whole GB(England) team issue.

    Could have so easily been avoided.

  • Comment number 11.

    Sorry, is it just me who see's no debate at all in all this rubbish? as the home nation, Great Britain are allowed to enter a football team of British footballers. It's not an important competition it won't be full of Britains main stars but it's a chance for a few of the younger players to compete for an Olympic Medal which is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.

    Do you have any idea who difficult it would be for FIFA to even attempt to strip Scotland/Wales etc of their national teams? Does it even matter, the home nations football teams are only getting worse anyway.

  • Comment number 12.

    Agree with #10.

    As another Englishman I would say the English FA isn't an organisation you should be giving control of anything to, be it Team GB or a biscuit tin.

    Why can't the BOA employ a head coach with a couple of staff for the tournament, politly ask each assosiation to compile a list of intrested players who fit the criteria and then let the coach choose the team. Supporters can support or not, FIFA can have a written agreement not to try and push through a team GB into international football and we can all get on with it.

  • Comment number 13.

    Agree with 3 and 10, let the players decide.

    If the home nation FA's where to loose their place on FIFA that would be no bad think with the way FIFA is at the moment. If I say any more the post will be moderated out but you all know what I mean :).

  • Comment number 14.

    As an English fan I have no interest in playing alongside Wales, Scotland or NI... the racist vitriol that comes from those countries any time anything like this is brought up is now boring.

  • Comment number 15.

    Does anyone really care about Olympic football? I doubt the clubs will release any of their better players anyway, why would they want to risk them so close to the start of the proper competitions.

  • Comment number 16.

    As the Scottish side is so poor at the moment, and has nothing to offer, it is quite refreshing to get some reaction from the SFA, if only to prove that they aren't asleep!

    By the way, there is no such body as the "English FA". The same type of mistake is often seen when people refer to the "English Premier League".

  • Comment number 17.

    If the other FA's don't want to be represented so be it .... but if TeamGB win a medal how many of the scots will jump on the bangwaggon and say they's won at football

  • Comment number 18.

    superbobbyzamo, would you care to give me one example of 'racist vitriol' that has come from 'those countries' when the united GB Olympic football team has been brought up?

  • Comment number 19.

    There shouldn't be a complete British football team, as England should be banned from all international contributions due to the blatant racist actions of their fans at all games, in particular the despicable booing of every other nation's anthem.

  • Comment number 20.

    To - Nick_Hove_Actually - To comment that you can't think of any scottish players making a GB team, have you actually watched England recently ??? - i saw them given the run around by a load of Swiss a few weeks back, England could'nt get the ball off them in the second half, your under 21's were dumped out of the euro championship the other night, so i would suggest you look closer to home before you start to say who is good enough to play in a GB team. One last point to make if the GB team is going to be made up of England players then who will be the manager an Italian ???

  • Comment number 21.

    I am not British but I have been reading about this for some time now. To say that I am amused is to overly understate.
    To participate in the Olympics is a HUGE honour. There are no two ways about it. The people who sit in the FAs of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland consider that honour is lost if they agree to the players under their jurisdiction participate under Team GB. This even if assurances were given by FIFA (them being jokers there is beside the point) and the fact that the football team is an Under-23 team and not a full national team.
    Team GB have already lost before even a ball is kicked due to misplaced feelings of football sovereignty. If you fill out any online form, you can't find any country called England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. My apologies if I have touched the raw nerves of some people but to us people outside of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, all these bickerings are simply laughable especially when people are fighting for the right NOT to participate in the Olympics.

  • Comment number 22.

    Shamistication, these feelings of 'football sovereignty' are certainly not misplaced. In footballing terms, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are independent nations, and have been since well before FIFA was established. The mixed messages currently coming out of FIFA about how working together as Team GB in the Olympics would affect this football sovereignty are the only reason Scotland and Wales don't want to participate. If we lost the Scotland football team, to participate in a football tournament that is a sideshow to the Olympics, I would be devastated.

  • Comment number 23.

    Grow Up Scotland and Wales and the Irish. You dont want to be part of Team GB as you are worried about FIFA saying ok then you can always be Team GB. Well FIFA have said that will not happen. It is done in rugby with the Lions so all you are doing is making football and your countries look childish. You real excuse, I think, is that you are worried your countries football will be shown up as you will only get a few, if any, players selected in the squad. At least if it is all English you can all do your normal and boo us. HOW SAD ARE YOU! I have no problem cheering on Wales, Ireland and even Scotland in matches as long as they are not playing England but I guess I am just a better person than you!

  • Comment number 24.

    To twincaledonian;

    So Scotland U21''d they get on? It is a fact that there would be more England players than from any other country. Also, if and when Wales, Ireland or even Scotland reach another major championship then I shall cheer them on unless they are playing England.

    I do not know what the problem is with these countries they dont want to play with England in any area, sport or politics etc, but they are happy to have the English tax payers money.

  • Comment number 25.

    tj, FIFA's most recent statement on the subject said they could provide no guarantee it wouldn't happen.

  • Comment number 26.


    I see what you're getting at but having it equal wouldn't make much sense to me.

    We are putting out a Great British side so should pick the best players from that pool. Imagine if that was the case for our 100m relay team of having it equal. Having one Scot, Irish, Welsh and English runner to make up the 4 baton passers would be ridiculous.

    Admittedly I couldn't see much but a 75% english side being made (depending on rules they make up), but thats just this Olympic games. Football will be apart of the Olympics forever now.

    Imagine in 4 years time, 5 or 6 Gareth Bales come out of the wood work and our first XI is mainly Welsh. I wouldn't begrudge that. Would you?

    I know alot of identity is lost but this isn't a major tournament for me. It's mainly under 23's.

    Seems to just be mountains out of mole hills in my opinion.

    Looks like i'll go with your other option of 'Bust'.

  • Comment number 27.

    I thought the reports all over the place said that the BOA had the FA's had received a letter from FIFA saying it would not happen. This whole situation looks bad on GB, 2012 and football in general. Why cant FIFA give their guarantee? Its only for one games! But if they dont that will un-nearve the other FA's. I want a Team GB at London 2012 made up of the best player regardless of which country they are from.

  • Comment number 28.

    Scotland should either stand alone - as a fully independent country.

    Or it should accept that, in it's current role, it is little more than one region in the UK. And, as such, it ought not to have an indepedent FA and ought to be a part of Team GB.

    Which is it Scotland?

    Time to make your minds up.

  • Comment number 29.

    Shamistication, to participate in the olympic football tournament is NOT A HUGE honour. It is the honour for track&field athletes a others whose sports nobody watches between Olympics.
    Just scrap the GB football team I say.

  • Comment number 30.

    Bobbyzamo you are a blind hypocrite if you think Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland are the only 3 nations in the UK capable of racist vitriol. I wish I could repeat what was said to my Scottish mum and dad in a pub in West Sussex on here as proof but it would be moderated and for good reason

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't get why Scotland/Wales/N Ire are concerned about setting a precedent. GB can only field a team at these Olympics because the host nation automatically qualify for all events.

    Olympic qualification is tied to the FIFA U-23 World Cup qualification groups. Because Great Britain never (and will never) take part in these games Great Britain can never qualify for any other Olympic games.

    This is a one-off, one time only deal. The Celtic FAs need to get some perspective.

  • Comment number 32.


    and if the Irish had repressed England for 800 years, or starved the English for political gain, or shot innocent civilians because of their religion... you'd still be cheering them to victory?

  • Comment number 33.

    TJ 'they don't want to play with other countries but are happy to take English taxes' WE invited YOU to the carling nations cup and you declined because you thought you were more on a par with the lieks of germany, argentina, etc. Then you flopped at the world cup and in your world cup bid and suddenly need some friends. Get a grip. Oh and 80% of Britain's natural resources come from Scotland. The sooner we have them to ourselves the better.

    It wasn't rich imperialist Englishmen who were sent to fight in the colonies, it was the marginalized 'others'. You'll miss us, believe me

  • Comment number 34.

    The Midland 20, unless I'm missing something, Scotland clearly have made their mind up.

  • Comment number 35.

    I would love to see a Team UK football team and perhaps the English FA (I am English to clarify) should realise that talking would do more good than harm. Maybe the 4 FA's should all go to FIFA together (for once) and ask for a one-off team GB&NI to play in the Olympics and have it written into some footballing law that it would not affect or threaten the independence of the 4 FA's.

    After all Blatter has said it wouldn't affect them so surely he would have no problem putting that into law, right? As hippie as it sounds this is something a bit dialogue would solve. Perhaps in the interest of each nation there should be a self-imposed quota of 4 players from each nation and 2 players the manager wants the most (it's an 18 man squad). Seems like a simple solution to a problem that would only be prevented by immaturity and pride of which all FA's are guilty of.

    I agree that simply giving the team to the BOA would also be a simple solution.

    And ron_LFC_fairburn, I agree with you that Scotland is needed in the Union just as all 4 are needed together but you can't generalise as you have done. Your last sentence is either badly constructed or your saying that everyone in England is rich and none of them were sent to fight and die. It belittles their memories and it's that kind of generalisation that just causes more pointless, racist arguments amongst us.

  • Comment number 36.

    Its already been shown that each nation can object but there is no legal right for them to prevent anyone playing so this is a pointles debate, and why do we suddenly need an olympic team, it never bothered us before. I think the fact that the BOA has made the FA responsible for organising an olympic team is enough rile most of the celtic fans.

    Yes, Blatter has said that participation wont affect the future of the home nations but hes an old man, in 5 years he could be long gone and a new heirachy in place who may have a completly different view. It seems that its the english who dont seem bothered about an amalgamation, not realising that the demise of the home nations doesn't just affect the 3 smaller countries. There will be no more England, games wont just be played at wembly and shered between london, cardiff, edinburgh & belfast, power will have to be shared beween the 4 nations leading to an even worse beaurocracy. I cant se any british fan wanting this.

  • Comment number 37.

    To RaulCoo:

    Why bring that up? Leave the history in the past where it belongs as I doubt you were starved and I know I didn't starve you so not going to say sorry for it. As for people shooting themselves because of religion they are just a waste off space. What god wants anybody that thinks violence is the answer to things? If there is one who wants that God anyway.

    Anyway this is not about history, politics etc it is simply about a FOOTBALL team and what players from what country should be selected.

  • Comment number 38.

    Oh great, we have people bringing up events which took place in the 19th Century and further back.

    Pretty much shows where this debate belongs, really.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Totally agree tj, this is about football. The scottish independence debate is hee haw to do with this. Fifa can't give us a guarantee so no scots in the team. Simple as. If however it comes to the stage where the home countries are stripped of their football independence what happens then? Will it be the same with the SPL and Premiership? A British league, Elgin v Doncaster Rovers anyone?

  • Comment number 41.

    Simple statement:

    No GB League so no Team GB.

  • Comment number 42.


    Are you honestly telling me you haven't seen every discussion on here where both Scotland and England are mentioned turn into a slagging match? Have a read of some of the rubbish above this comment for starters.

  • Comment number 43.

    superbobbyzamo, some of the comments after I posted mine have displayed pretty tiresome entrenchment, but I would stop well short of saying any of them constituted 'racist vitriol'. What I object to is whenever anyone defending Scotland's position is automatically considered to be anti-English.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    What a pathetic racist comment

  • Comment number 46.

    Unfortunatly my last post was removed, so trying to make it more simple and non offensive - my point was that "Some England football fans" appear to think all is best in England, quite clearly that is not the case as England have won only one cup in 45 years, not exactly world domination, so how do they think no other players from the other 3 nations would get into a GB team. I beg to differ with these people as the welsh have two class footballers in Ramsey and Bale, Scotland have Gordon, Brown, Adam and Bannon, excuse me NI fans but i appreciate you had a few guys out at the celtic cup in Dubllin - so i think there are a number of players from the other 3 associations that could add to the squad if they wanted too.
    My last point keep the "POLITICS" out of sport please

  • Comment number 47.

    Come on people lets keep this to Football. I though FIFA had given assurances that a GB Team in the London 2012 would not effect the standing of the FA's in the UK. If FIFA have not given this then I can understand their worry. FIFA should give it and lets try and win a medal, although it will be hard but hey.

  • Comment number 48.

    Jim - surprised you ran with this topic I really am since its not long ago we had a very similar issue.

    All it will do will invite some sensible comments like #36 alongside some truely mad borderline and outright racist commentary.

  • Comment number 49.


    Its rare that arrogance shows you up to be a better person!!

  • Comment number 50.

    #40 Rob04, I think you are missing the point if you think I was being arrogant. I was simply saying that the excuse of losing you seperate FA's was not true as FIFA had given assurances this wouldnt happen, although others have said this may not be the case. Do you think the squad would be a even mix from all over as I do still believe it would be heavy towards the English. I would happily have more Gareth Bales if there are any? I would like to see a Team GB compete and win. I am sure all the 'home nations' would like some sort of national football team to win something. Please however remeber this is just football so if the Team is there any from all countries then great if not then it will just be a shame for the game, the sport and Great Britain.

  • Comment number 51.

    It does seem the main problem with this whole thing is FIFA. All they need to do is publicly state that a Team GB in London 2012 will not effect the standing for any oif the GB FA's. Maybe we could invite them for tea and have a little 'chat' to get this?

  • Comment number 52.

    Sorry if I caused offence, that was not my intention. I was simply trying to show the futility of bringing politics and a country's history into a debate like this. Its a football blog, and nothing more. If my comment was wide of the mark, I apologise.

  • Comment number 53.

    At #s 10 & 12,

    Good points, well made. The snag is that I do not not think that it is within the remit of the BOA to actually organise individual tournaments. They invite the various national sporting associations to do it under the banner of the BOA.

    There is no UK football association. Therefore for the FA to accept the BOA's invitation, given the direct and strident opposition of the other three UK FAs, is breathtaking in it's arrogance. They have no right to organise a ' Team GB '. They are the FA for England.

    I happen to think that FIFA will not claim a precedent and insist on one UK team, but why give Blatter the opportunity ? This is most certainly not about how many non-English players would make a GB squad as some of the more ludicrous and hysterical posters have alluded to.

    This is a football blog and I am uncomfortable with some of the neo-political and borderline racist rubbish above. I happen to be a life long supporter of Scottish Independence. So what ? I see no need to denigrate anyone who does not agree with me.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm English and 100% anti GB team - out of respect for all 4 home nations and it just won't be interesting for anyone apart from a few middle class union flag waving women - probably on their way from Wimbledon (I love tennis and Wimbledon). Isn't the point of sport and especially the soap opera element, sometimes for good sometimes for bad? England losing on penaltys and spilling my kebab on the way home and it all sinking in the next day or my club team staying up on the last day or getting in the playoffs or going down with late goal leave me the happiest or most depressed man alive. Same with my national team. England. I can't wait for the next friendly, qualifier, finals if we are lucky enough to be there. I can't imagine anyone caring about losing a game late on in the Olympics or even jumping in a fountain over winning a QF. And at the end? There would be no September and new campaign and so really, who cares? Give the GB space to a South American or African team - a country for which it is important. Long live the Three Lions, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland and may we all continue to stutter our way around the globe for years to come and against each other when footballing fate decides.

  • Comment number 55.

    Maybe as we are different we should be allowed seperate teams in London 2012 as a one off?

  • Comment number 56.

    I think a lot of the comments about Team GB emanating from the Celtic nations are ridiculous. What they overlook is that the Olympics is an IOC tournament not a FIFA one so technically it doesn't matter what Sepp Blatter thinks. Every other sport competes as Great Britain at the Olympics so why should football be any different. If FIFA has said it won't make a difference then so be it. This could be the only major tournament that players like Gareth Bale or Darren Fletcher are likely to compete in during their careers so why stop them. Even Ryan Giggs could play as one of 3 over-age players allowed. The SFA and others are themselves being shortsighted and selfish and if players want to play for teamGB in the Olympics then let them (after all Chris Hoy competes in cycling under the GBR banner and everyone is fine with it).

  • Comment number 57.

    @56.At 17:06 22nd Jun 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote: What they overlook is that the Olympics is an IOC tournament not a FIFA one
    Bad news bud , FIFA was founded in 1904 and has been invovled in running football at the Olympics ever since.

  • Comment number 58.

    32.At 15:18 22nd Jun 2011, RaulCoo wrote:

    and if the Irish had repressed England for 800 years, or starved the English for political gain, or shot innocent civilians because of their religion... you'd still be cheering them to victory?

    The Irish have spent enough time shooting each other over religion that your point is irrelevant especially given the ROI field their own team anyway.

  • Comment number 59.

    Like most of the Scots here, I'm opposed to the GB team. It's meaningless and degrades Scottish, Welsh, and Irish football, which have spent decades (and more) creating their own unique identities. It's very different from athletics and other Olympic events. Plus, I'm pretty certain the bulk of the team would be English players with a few token players from the other nations. If England want to field a team, that's fine, but leave the rest of us out of it.

  • Comment number 60.

    Elgin v Doncaster Rovers anyone

    The way scottish football finances are more likely Celtic vs Doncaster Rovers

  • Comment number 61.


    If the broad and consistent consensus among fans, media and associations in Scotland is that we don't want to be involved when does 'No' actually mean 'No'? What is it about having a view that people cannot respect it? The BOA are not interested in football and neither are FIFA an open, transparent and accountable organisation. I'm surprised that anyone would take their view or reassurances on anything seriously. And you are wrong: it does matter what Sepp Blatter thinks.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm pretty sure that FIFA would not be able to force the UK to have a single international team for ever more because the FA would tell then to get lost, and FIFA could not afford ( in money terms at least) to lose English football. I've read quite a few articles about Team GB and the Non-English countries' FA's reluctance to endorse it, and I cannot find the reason they're against it in anywhere.

    It could be that whilst Scotland in particular see England as their rivals, and treat each (rare) meeting between the teams as something akin to Bannockburn, the English just don't really care about playing Scotland, and have more interest in games against Germany / Netherlands / Spain / Brazil etc.

    If the Scots decide not to play it's frankly no skin off my nose, but you guys really ought to get a sense of perspective.

  • Comment number 63.

    people saying scotland have nothing to offer...?

    darren fletcher? in the holding role michael carrick seems to desert in big games?

  • Comment number 64.

    @tj on several posts

    FIFA can or cant give these assurances . If you remember the last WC vote over half the delegates gave the English FA assurances over thier votes and what happened there? Russia 2018 .
    Now lets talk Olympics . Since the English FA have always been invovled with the BOA they have never engaged with the other FA's until London was awarded the Olympics(the city is awarded NOT the country) , a frosty reception should have been at least expected . A way around this how about politely asking the Scottish FA to run the u23 team? Its not been awarded to England , GB or UK but to London so why is there a national FA invovled anyhow? Or even how about the team made up of players just from London? The IOC and BOA tells us this wwould break the rules but so does excluding Israel from groups that contain middle eastern countries , and the IOC already do that .

    Then you mention the Lions , an exhibition team like the Baba's , but made up of the 4 home nations of rugby which covers two sovereign states (UK and Ireland) and can by no means be made play that way all the time .

    Scotland u21's lost the play-off to get to Denmark , so England only where one step in front , and unlike the senior side who should at least make the semis next year under Capello , the Olympic u23 side is not garrenteed that success so busting weak positions with talented players from other FAs is the only hope .And to this end the means is not justified .
    The 4 FA's are around longer than FIFA , the IFAB they are on is also older than FIFA . FIFA wants all the power , and they cant roll the 4 FA's into one without a president in the modern game . The bargaining chip will be indepndence or the IFAB and vice president seat . England will then be in the same position as Latvia and then what happens the beautiful game ? all for the price of 3(maybe 7) matches one summer ....

  • Comment number 65.

    Petshopboys stick to writing bad songs because you clearly don't know what you are talking about here. The state of scottish finances = celtic vs doncaster rovers? Celtic are in a much healthier financial position than many english clubs

  • Comment number 66.

    62 You have highlighted the English problem. You think you can rub shoulders with Brazil/Italy/Germany etc. You are far inferior to these places but because your neighbours are the rest of Britain, who with their inferior resources, economy and population could only ever compete by punching way above their weight, you have developed a misguided (and frankly hilarious) superiority complex where you think that because you can beat wales, you can therefore beat anyone. It's most amusing every four years

  • Comment number 67.

    TJ he brings it up because English people constantly makes silly suggestions that we should 'cheer on' england just because they may choose to do the same for us, the point is that the relationship is extrmely different because of these historical factors. Obviously it still matters to people so don't say 'why bring it up' as if just because it doesn't matter to you (and why would it when as an englishman you would have been on the side doing the repression and rape and murder and invading) it shouldnt matter to the people on the other side of the coin

  • Comment number 68.

    An alternative view might be to say that Fifa defer to the IOC in respect of how the football tournament is run at the olympic games, otherwise there would simply be no football at the Olympic games. The IOC have decided that the country that competes as Great Britain in the olympics should be allowed to compete as Great Britain in a specific event, despite competing separately under FIFA.

    The BOA have approached the various home nations FA's with a view to having a Great Britain team selected from the available international players from each of them.

    Whether for the tactical, arrogant or subversive reasons that have been suggested on this thread. The English FA have indicated that they are willing to allow England internationals to play and would actively assist the formation of a Great Britain Team for this one off tournament.

    The cries of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FA's that they aren't part of this agreement seems to miss the point. They have surely known about the ongoing discussions regarding a GB team and almost certainly have been invited to participate in those discussions. They however at present, have not agreed with the idea. I personally don't like the idea that some old boy in (for example) the Northern Irish or Scottish FA (at his whim) should be able to stop Gareth Bale, Wilshere or whichever Scottish player might just scrape into the team from representing the country on his passport in an olympic games, along with hundreds of others who will do the same in front of cheering home crowds.

    The BOA were put into the position of either:

    a) Not proceeding because the senior oafficials of the home nations FAs had indicated an unwillingness to formally sanction the team because of paranoid and narrowminded fears, thus denying a generation of players the chance to compete in the olympics (if they wished); or

    b) stating there will be a GB team and the English FA are fully on board, inviting the other home nations to support it and/or challenging them to publicly state that they will sanction their international players for participating in it.

    I'm sick of international organisations thinking they own sport, I'm sick of bungling, parochial national organisations continously looking after their petty, narrow minded interests. The idea that FIFA would try and amalgamate great britain in all other events is nonsense and the fear of it completely spineless. If I can cheer on the British and Irish lions, if I can support Europe in the Rider cup, if a Scotsman like Chris Hoy can win fistfulls of Gold Medals without his national identity or integrity being questioned. Surely 18 lads with union jacks on their shirts who are willing can kick a ball around for a couple of weeks next summer need not put the footballing status or identities of our nations in actual jepody.

    The notion that anyone should be concerned or care about what FIFA might try is quite bizarre. I thought we'd recently gotten past all this "taking FIFA seriously" nonsense.

    The Fa's can support it or not support it. The players can play for it or not play for it. The fans can cheer for them or not cheer for them. It's up to each individual.

    However I support the BOA's 'field of dreams' approach. If you build it, they will come. If you make the shirts, when the time comes, I suspect they'll want to wear them.

  • Comment number 69.

    @67.At 17:55 22nd Jun 2011, rob_LFC_fairbairn wrote

    I was in a pub in Temple Bar , some years ago looking at Ireland v Netherlands , there were English people there(stags / tourist) they all cheered Ireland on . Later was Germany -Engalnd (5-1) the loudest cheer? On 6 minutes when Germany went 1-0 up , the English looked confuesd , was this the Irish sense of humour or because Germany were wearing green ? er no mate .
    And ask any German who there biggest game is against and they to a man will the you the Dutch . Ask the Spainish they say Portugal , ask the French they say Italy .

  • Comment number 70.

    66 We don't think we can rub shoulders, we HAVE rubbed shoulders with Brazil/Germay/Italy for the last four World Cups. Yes we get beat but at least we get there.

    I by reading your posts on this, I think if anybody has a complex it's you....

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    FIFA's lack of clarity on this matter really blows all the Scotland-bashing on here out of the water. Arguments about how rubbish we currently are or anything like that are completely irrelevant. We don't trust FIFA to not twist our participation in a Team GB against us. Am I being incredibly naive to ask that anyone respect our decision on that?

  • Comment number 73.


    The SFA really ought to have listened to you. If you can find no reason, well thats good enough for me!!

    Bannockburn? That is just so last summer!


    I thought the English FA were threatening to withdraw from FIFA? Is this isolation, self-isolation or just big talk from a wee budgie?!!

  • Comment number 74.

    @ 73, that is corruption.

    What are you doing on this website? You do know it's the British Broadcasting Corporation? Isn't there a more parochial website with a discussion about this that you can take part in where you can all get angry and shout about longshanks without bothering those of us delicate 'wee budgies' who've moved on since the middle ages? Really, it's enough to make one want to sell one's holiday croft in the highlands.

  • Comment number 75.

    There have been a couple of posts saying no to a British league, but next season we'll have Swansea vs. Man United in the Premier League. Last time I checked the Welsh national team and FA both still exist.

  • Comment number 76.

    FIFA assurances are worth nothing because they are a worse parcel of rogues than well you know who.
    Surely a home nations to decide the representative and they wear their own shirts with a badge saying 'representing team GB'. That would have been the best way to decide if it was imperative that every nation had a go.

    Vaduz in Swiss League
    AS Monaco in French League
    Berwick Rangers in Scottish League
    San Marino in Italian League
    Happens all over the world, so FIFA would have to redress these situations before acting on the Swansea thing.

  • Comment number 77.


    Interesting Rob. The SFA viewpoint is being ignored by our Southern cousins. Some of them, and by no means all, feel the need to resort to racist stereotypes.

    Clearly Engurlund are the Master Race. Why not when they feel the need to trample over the sensibilities of other nations without a backward glance. They are the greatest. They do have the imperial expertise.

    We rebellious Scots must doff our caps forthwith .........

  • Comment number 78.

    The view of the lesser nations respective FA's as outlined in their joint statement, isn't so much being ignored as it is being laughed and pointed at for the outdated irrelevance it is.

    It looks like this Olympic thing is going to happen, and so the GB team at the next olympics will only be ratified and staffed by English FA members and players. More than likely, if the other associations get in line it will still only be staffed by English FA members and players so really it won't make any difference if you join us or not.

  • Comment number 79.

    You mention longshanks and somehow other people are living in the medieval ages?

    When you have something serious to say, I might just bother with you!!


  • Comment number 80.

    I couldn't give two hoots about team GB, it's a nonsense having football as an Olympic event in the first place.

  • Comment number 81.


    Had I a forelock I would certainly tug it. Sadly I am as bald as a coot. As a representative of a ' lesser ' nation, I am humbled to be allowed to comment.

    Are you agreeing with me ? I have no idea. The GB team will happen but one would hope withouth any Scots. . Outdated irrelevance ? Pah .......

  • Comment number 82.

    In one p.o.v I truly pitty the media's portayal of the home nations but from another point I expected far better, if any of this absolute nonsense is true, from them.

    There are a few people on this board whom actually make logical sense out of this subject. The ending to this subject is boringly predictable.

  • Comment number 83.


    Typo. without.

  • Comment number 84.


    thanks for picking up on the 'lesser nation' comment - I thought that one had gone to waste.

    Since my lack of seriousness on this topic has been outed by Rob04, I'm intrigued - is anybody really bothered by all this? I mean really deep-down bothered to the point where it affected your heart rate and stuff?

    I thought it was just a page full of banter?

  • Comment number 85.

    I read somewhere that Gareth Bale has said he wants to play, who is to stop him ? Not the Welsh FA I am sure.
    It's simple - Make an announcement that a letter will be sent to each FA aasking them to put forward players that they know are willing to play for team GB, at the same time let it be known that any player that wishes to put their name forward independently is free to do so. Make a response date for names and then pick the squad on merit, not nationality (Are they not all British ? - but anyway).
    If the Scots and the Welsh FAs want to distance themselves from it and so not submit any names themselves - so be it.
    Any player from Scotland or Wales who puts his name up for consideration himself will be considered accordingly.
    Did I read that N Ireland are in ?

    Why are they so against this ?
    - Is it because as I keep reading, they fear for their team identity in the future?
    - Is it because they dont expect to have many, if any players selected as keeps getting said
    - Or is it because they fear losing their cozy and overpaid jobs ?

  • Comment number 86.


    Speaking for myself, the taste of Buckfast is revolting. I have personal experience of this as my Uncle resides in Torbay and I visit on a regular basis. Your comment at #71 is simply racist. You further comment at #74.

    It is indeed the BBC. An institution that I hold dear, and one that I hope will adapt if Scotland ever becomes independent.

    Your last comment displays a total lack of understanding re. this blog. You were certainly not winding anyone up with your first post. Your latest post exposes you as a charlatan.

    Stick to your guns, or get ye gone.

  • Comment number 87.

    Would rather think that this an academic debate encouraged by the post "Braveheart" politico naifs that seem largely to inform the very recent national identity obsession of a few polytecnic lecturer Scots. Academic..why? Because a cynic might say that the whines are merely a smoke screen to avoid the unpalatable truth that there isn't a Scotch player who would get near the squad: And they would all give their right arm to be chosen for a GB Olympic team - a right arm they would probably only use to tie up Gareth Bales's bootlaces. Can we end this discussion now...Mel Gibson is an Aussie actor with some personal issues...he wasn't really real...honest!

  • Comment number 88.

    @86 - so this stuff is actually important to you? Amazing. See they talk about evolution, but the evidence just isn't there is it?

    So yes you're right about my lack of understanding of this blog. I was all over it when I thought it was banter which is fun - now I realise it's serious, it's just a little bit sad. Thump yer chest and cry at yer anthem.

  • Comment number 89.

    Hmmm, this debate needs some reasoned input, some life injected into it. Where is the balanced and articulate TOMSLAFORD when we need him?

    As for the team, so what? In olympic terms its a marginal sport, one nobody cared about in 2008 or 2004 or 2000 etc etc. It's nothing to do with the quality of other nations players, and everything to do with the absolute pointlessness of the sport. The home nations FAs should stand up and say 'it's a diddy competition, we don't want any part of it' then allow any players who get picked to play. Have the argument with FIFA later, any attempt at subsuming the nations will just result in more people in this country ignoring FIFA and creating the alternative. As a Scotsman I applaud the FAs stance against FIFA, pity you didn't take that view during the process though eh.

  • Comment number 90.

    #62 CLLeeds

    "the English just don't really care about playing Scotland, and have more interest in games against Germany / Netherlands / Spain / Brazil etc. "

    One win for England against those 4 nations combined in 10 years. I think perhaps we as the smaller UK nations understand our place in the world game better than some other nations do. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 91.

    I think it is a real shame, as this may be the only chance that any country within Britain has had of winning something in football for a long time.

    To be honest with the way that FIFA is run, if they suddenly decided that Great Britain should only have one football team I doubt that whether they played together in the 2012 Olympics aye or nay would make any difference.

    I think it should be up to the players instead of listening to all these dire warnings from the football federations, no doubt the clubs will also be equally keen for their players not to be involved in further tournaments.

  • Comment number 92.

    Having read the various comments all I can say is well done the FAs of Scotland, Wales and NI. I am still waiting to hear a valid argument as to why these individual football associations which all have a history longer than FIFA and the modern Olympics should somehow risk their future independence for the sake of a fourth rate football tournament just to satisfy a few Olympic bigots. And the various blogs saying they should be ignored/laughed at just prove how bigotted many are. They are not reading the comments from those who are raising valid concerns or are just simply ignoring on the basis that we should cave in to anything that this money pit known as 2012 Olympics wants. And please dont say that the world is laughing at us over the issue - the world doesnt care.

  • Comment number 93.

    so this stuff is actually important to you? Amazing. See they talk about evolution, but the evidence just isn't there is it?

    There is plenty of evidence for evolution and some people take what you treat with disdain quite seriously. Don't confuse your intolerance with insight.

  • Comment number 94.

    Realistically, all petty sniping apart, how many players from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would get into a GB 20-man squad? From a fan's perspective, name the 20 British players you'd want for your club side... I could only see Bale, and possibly Ramsey, Fletcher and maybe Adam making that 20.

    So lets just pick 20 English players, call it team GB and enter the Olympics. The English fans can support them, the rest can ignore them. No-one will really care anyway, Euro '12 and the respective leagues will be the focus of football fans attention, but for the sake of the young players experience and a chance of another British medal we may as well enter a team.


  • Comment number 95.

    Maybe it would help if the English FA came out with a public statement that they would leave FIFA if there was any attempt to merge the four home nations into one team. The other three home nations could make a similar commitment and so they would all be in the same boat if FIFA attempted it - they can only make us do it if we accept it, they don't have an army or anything! The worst they could do is kick us all out. Then we could have proper Home Internationals again, I miss them. Republic of Ireland could be added in but only if they leave FIFA, then invite France for a Six Nations tournament, then let in Italy, then have a "World Cup" against selected Southern Hemisphere Commonwealth countries and finally invite some South American, Pacific, East European and Asian countries to join in. Simples!

  • Comment number 96.

    Reading the England fans on this blog is exactly the reason Scotland fans want nothing to do with this English sorry GB team .I've seen three different people say that they couldn't think of one Scottish player that would make the team.I will give you one Alan mcgregor better than any of the numerous goalies you've tried in the last couple of years ,and what about manager has to be Scottish cos you lot don't have any . Forget talking about the inferior home nations and take a look at yourself .In the last 40 some years little old Scotland has won exactly the same amount of trophies as you

  • Comment number 97.

    I am English and personally see nothing wrong with a GB team, this is a non fifa competition and the players should be given the choice, who ever is chosen to manage/select the team should compile the list and ask the players if they wish to take part,it maybe the best chance they have of winning something (and i include the English in that). Whilst I am at it I guess that all this patriotism from the Scots means that we can expect a great rebellion against any proposal for the old firm to join the premier league (which seems to rear its head every other year) as in my opinion this is far more likely to make FIFA consider changes to the nation structure than a 1 off appearance at the London Olympic games.

  • Comment number 98.

    This is a non story. Firstly no Scottish players are good enough to get in the team. As for Wales, if Gareth Bale tells the Welsh FA to get stuffed, he's playing, they can't stop him. They could ban him from playing for Wales, anyone think they will ? This is just a bunch of men in suits thinking they are more important than the players, guess what they're not.

  • Comment number 99.

    It's all a load of nonsense anyway

    Consider, this tournement falls just after the end of Euro 2012 and during the traditional first week(s) of both the english & Scottish football league schedule. How many of the star players being touted for a berth in the squad are going to be willing/fit/allowed to play in it anyway?

    No england or Scotland (I hope) players that have been selected for their 2012 squads (Wilshire, Fletcher etc...)
    Can't imagine any big clubs, will be willing to risk injury or tired players coming back after this mickey mouse tournement, so only squad players would probably be released.

    The risk doesn't only extend to the national teams either, if FIFA forced a team GB, expect regionalised football upto the top tier or 2 as I doubt Torquay would really like to take or afford regular trips to the likes of Elgin City or Chimney Corner.

    So lets get this right, we are going to risk all our individual histories and futures, based on 1 tournement, that is only being pushed and pushed by the BOA/Coe, as they think its their best bet at shifting official 2012 merchandise and making a tidy profit. A 1% risk is too much

  • Comment number 100.

    Bit dissapointed in you here Jim reads to me like your totally sitting on the fence here. I recently read this the blogger here isn't on the fence he clearly sets out what the potential costs are for the reward of 2 or 3 Scots getting to play in the worlds 6th biggest football tournament.


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