Brexit: Ryder Cup, golf, F1, and racing reacts to EU Referendum

Team Europe golf fans at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland
Team Europe golf fans at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland

"Europe, Europe, Europe" - it's the chant of unity from supporters as golfers take on the United States in the biennial showdown.

But could the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union have an impact on the event? And how will other sports cope?

We canvassed opinion - from the Ryder Cup to rugby union, and Formula 1 to horse racing.

READ MORE: British clubs could suffer in football transfer window

Golf - Flying the flag for Europe

The Ryder Cup team symbolically plays under the EU flag and is likely to have several players from the UK such as Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose at the 2016 renewal at Hazeltine, Minnesota, in September.

A spokesperson for Ryder Cup Europe said: "The criteria for being European in Ryder Cup terms is a geographical one (ie from countries who make up the continent of Europe) not a political or economic one (ie countries who make up the EU).

"Therefore the result of the UK referendum has no bearing in Ryder Cup qualification terms.

"In terms of the flag flown to represent the European Ryder Cup team, we consider that the blue and gold flag of Europe represents the continent of Europe and, as a broad symbol of Europe as a whole, we therefore plan to continue to use it."

Ron Dennis and Niki Lauda
McLaren chief Ron Dennis with former F1 world champion Niki Lauda

Formula 1 - 'Uneasy and uncertain time for teams'

From Andrew Benson, BBC Sport chief F1 writer

"Formula 1 is the most international of sports. Employees move teams and countries with regularity. Drivers, engineers and team bosses alike are employed and celebrated for their skills, not because of where they come from.

"As such, the uncertainty and potential costs of the UK leaving the European Union are likely to leave many teams feeling uneasy and uncertain.

"How will Brexit affect the so-called "motorsport silicon valley" in the south-east of England and its network of support industries - a self-fertilising and perpetuating talent pool?

"If free movement of labour and trade are lost, that will inevitably make the practicalities of running a team more complex. McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has even said EU membership is "fundamental" to the success of his company.

"F1 teams are as pragmatic in their behaviour as they are global in outlook. They can be counted on to do whatever is best for their business and competitiveness."

Rugby union - 'Incredibly unlikely a player will be deported'

Paul Shapiro, a sports lawyer with Charles Russell Speechlys, outlines how changes to work permits could affect rugby union.

"In rugby, unless a player can qualify on other grounds such as ancestry, players from outside the EU from tier one and two rugby nations must have started at least one full 15 a-side international match during the 15 months immediately prior to the date of the application to be eligible for a visa.

"Players from other countries must have started an international match in the last 15 months and have played in a minimum of 10 full internationals during their playing career. Therefore, while established current internationals, such as Louis Picamoles (France/Toulouse), would pass this test, uncapped players and those who have been retired from the international game for a long period, would be ineligible under these requirements. Based on the current make-up of the Premiership, this could affect Irish nationals the most.

"However, it is unlikely that the criteria in football and rugby in its current form will be applied to EU nationals as the rules were drafted with no consideration for the UK being outside the EU.

"Although it is not possible to say at the moment with any certainly what the changes we will be, these rules will change to reflect the UK's new position in Europe. In the intervening period, it is incredibly unlikely that any player will be deported so the impact will be felt by those who arrive after the two-year time period for exiting the EU has expired."

A Premiership Rugby statement said: "Once a clearer position is understood across Europe, a thorough review of the regulations pertinent to foreign players will take place in due course."

Saracens celebrate winning the European Rugby Champions Cup
Saracens celebrate winning the European Rugby Champions Cup

Horse racing - 'Proactive preparations'

Brexit and the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron has raised questions over the replacement for the sport's fundrasing mechanism - the Horserace Betting Levy - which is due to be introduced in April of next year.

Other issues that will need to be addressed include how Gibraltar-based bookmakers will be affected and how a new immigration policy could impact on the recruitment of stable staff.

The British Horseracing Authority said it had been proactive in preparing for the implications of a Leave vote and would work closely with Government officials.

"The expectation is that there will not be a substantial impact on most of these areas, or the overall regulation and running of the sport, certainly in the short term," said Will Lambe, the BHA's director of corporate affairs.

"The key piece of domestic and primary legislation which provides for an income stream for British racing from all forms of betting activity, including that through offshore remote betting operators, has already been passed. "


The England and Wales Cricket Board said it was considering the impact of the vote on cricket.

"We will discuss this with our stakeholders, the Government and other sporting bodies before we comment further," said a statement.

In tennis, the All England Club - home of Wimbledon - is a business keen on trying to expand in other areas around the world, but it is not thought likely to be significantly affected by the decision.

Delayed visa applications for European fighters could affect some smaller shows and promoters in boxing, particularly when opponents are needed as late replacements.

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