‘Great Britain football team will be formed for Olympics’

March 11th, 2009 - 3:12 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 11 (DPA) Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe is confident that Great Britain will field a football team at the 2012 Olympics despite opposition.
The Scottish, Welsh and Irish Football Associations are opposed to a joint British team in case it threatens their independent status within FIFA.

Speaking in a debate at Westminster Hall Tuesday, Sutcliffe said that although he wanted the side to have the “widest representation” from the United Kingdom, it could be that only English players were allowed to compete by the national associations.

Sutcliffe said FIFA had given written assurances that a UK side in 2012 would not affect the national teams, but he admitted that “there has always been and will continue to be a threat to that individuality because of the way FIFA is evolving.”

“We should do absolutely nothing that would ever threaten our independent football status,” said Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart.

“We should never give a hint of a precedent that might be able to be used against us in the future, we should give no reason, no excuse to those who would question our independent footballing status, no succour to those who would seek to end the very generous arrangements we have in the UK.”

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