Wednesday, 22 June 2011


The British Olympics Committee (BOC) has come to agreement with FIFA with regard to a “Team GB” football team playing in the London Olympic Games.

It had been a major worry that if a British Team were to play in the Olympics then FIFA might force all future World and European Cup teams to be British, thus ending the extremely generous settlement that the UK state got to have four separate national football teams.

FIFA has, however, said that the countries’ separate teams will be able to continue to play international matches separately.

There are, of course, worries about this. There are several countries which would like to put forward football teams but are not allowed to because they are seen to be integral parts of other states (Greenland comes immediately to mind, although it is much less integral to Denmark than Scotland is to the UK). Pressure may be put upon FIFA to amend the ruling. Of course the other problem about anything coming from FIFA is, how much can you trust it? As an organisation it’s not exactly a shining example of probity.

The BOC in a joint statement with the FA (that’s the English FA) said that an “historic agreement” had been reached between the governing bodies of the four home nations, paving the way for Team GB to take part. BOA chief executive and Team GB boss Andy Hunt said: “Seeing Team GB take to the pitch in 2012 will be one of the defining moments of the London Olympic Games.”

The BOA said Scots-born players would, he said, be able to take part after consulting with their clubs and the SFA. However, former SFA president George Peat said: “I am absolutely astounded they have put out this statement. I know nothing about any such agreement and we want nothing to do with this tournament.”

Stewart Reagan, the Chief Executive of the SFA said that he and his opposite numbers at the WFA and NIFA are against this and knew of no such agreement. This leads me to suppose that the Olympics Committee and the English FA must have agreed all this without any consultation with Scotland, or Wales. (As Northern Ireland is not in Great Britain, I am at a loss to know why they have been included in this.)

He said: “No discussions took place with any of us, far less has an historic agreement been reached. The associations are committed to supporting the individual home nations playing all representative football under their respective flags as independent members of FIFA and UEFA.”
Politicians have also condemned the announcement. Pete Wishart (SNP) said it was appalling and Jim Murphy (Labour) warned that any agreement coming from FIFA should be studied carefully.

Of course the players are individuals and they can, if they wish, take part in this event. There are certainly no legal restraints available to the Celtic associations. However, if they do take part, players may well find that they will from here on in play for a GB team, which, of course, given the imbalance in the size of the populations of the countries, means that, unless they are brilliant, they are most unlikely to play international football ever again!”

One thing that should be remembered is that this is Gordon Brown’s doing. He wanted a GB team and he set out to use his position to get it. If he loses Scotland its right to play as a nation, hell mend him ... and his legacy.

Pics: Stewart Reagan (SFA Chairman) and Gordon Brown (an author and semi-retired politician of dubious repute) looking a lot better than usual.


  1. For team GB read team England with a Union Jack hat on. I think Wayne Rooney and David Beckham are feeling the fact that they have every other trinket that British sport (read English where necessary) and establishment can chuck at them as well as more money than God but they are not Olympians and English football is so good after all they are bound to get a gold aren't they??

  2. That they have lied about having agreement with the other national teams should be enough of a warning that they can never be trusted

  3. When you look at how teams are chosen to play in the Olympics it is even worse than it seems.

    The U21 competition in Europe is the Olympic qualifying tournament for Europe (UEFA) and only the top two teams from here get to represent their countries in the Olympic U23 competition.

    Since Britain does not have a team in the U21 competition then the only way the "Team GB", football team could qualify for 2012 was because it was representing the host nation.

    That means that after the Olympics Britain as a team will again not be able to participate in the Olympics as it does not compete in the UEFA U21 competition.

    So the BOA is quite happy to put the independence of the four home nations at risk for the sake of a one-off U23 competition hosted in London.

    I wonder how long it will take for the suggestion that there should be a British team in future UEFA U21's to surface from the BOA?

  4. Tris

    I remember my father saying to me about 40 years ago the one thing that would make independence inevitable was Scotland losing its football team and Scottish players having to play under a team GB.

    This may explain one of the reasons for Murphys words of caution. He must be worried as he was always Gordon from North Britons yes man.

    P.S. Of course that was PR then, that is pre Roxburgh, Scotlands football has still not recovered from his time.

    P.P.S. Thanks for that Doug, that was a part of it that I had no knowledge off.

  5. Probably is something like that. The assumption will be that team England will stand a good chance of winning, playing all its game on home grounds.

    Frankly I think it's ridiculous to have football in these games. It is well prepresented elsewhere, and there are the world cup and European cup and African cup, etc, to provide the top level of play.

    Of course, although there would be no money in the actual games, people would be able to make money out of a win. So naturally, that's what it's all about.

    The Olympics was never meant to contain all these sports.

  6. Anon: I think you're right there. I wouldn't trust any of them with an old penny piece. To start off with a lie, hardly inspires confidence that we won't lose our status as a nation within FIFA.

  7. Good point Doug, as they won't have home team qualification advantage again for another 50 plus years.

  8. Well Dubs. I reckon your dad knew how seriously Scots take their football, as I'm sure do the English. It might, coming just at this time of resurgent interest in independence, and an extremely unpopular UK government, just be the straw that breaks the haggis's back (as it were)

    I doubt it will be popular in England either. They are after all, very serious contenders for international glory. Some Englishmen might well feel that the necessity of including players from the Celtic nations might diminish their chances (even if it is far from the truth).

    And what will happen if no Celtic nations put forward players for inclusion on the Olympic squad?

    Apparently it breaks the rules to have an all England team (or so I heard). So what would happen if they chose a Scot and he withdrew, or was injured? Could they field an all England team?

    And what happens if a Scot (or any of the other nations) plays in the Olympics and returns for the start of the new season and is shunned by his teammates, manager, the SFA; what if he is injured and can't play for his team?

    As usual the people at the top, who want things to happen for THEM, won't have though through the possible trouble that their actions may bring.

    This is folly. It’s asking for trouble

  9. Tris

    Another good article in case you missed it, though just why anyone would want to prevent the slow death of London Labour is beyond me.

    Should be compulsory reading for Labour Hame.

  10. Team GB great idea just one National team to represent the true 'ONE' united British NATION all the peoples working together to achieve greatness.

    Obviously all the nay sayers Nationalist will try to create synthetic anger to fit their synthetic Nationalist agenda.
    Whilst we the people of the British isles will
    Work as if we live in the early days of a betterer nation and reject any false idols of silly individual nations.......

  11. I believe a number of games in both the male and female competitions will be played at Hampden. I am not having to think too hard that these will no encompass the final stages.

    Could the SFA not cancel the bookings and if they had to pay compensation, so what? It would be worth it in the long run?

  12. Good article Dubs. Thanks.

    I'm sure Mr Ponsonby knows Iain Gray quite well, so I'm prepared to take his word that he's not quite as bad as he seems.

    Certainly the rest of his analysis sounds sound.

    Above all to be relevant to Scottish voters the Labour party in Scotland needs to remove the shackles of trying to appeal to Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It won't ever work, and yet that is where Ed must rebuild trust if the large numbers of voters who returned to the Tories at the last election are to be regained.

  13. Hmmm right Niko. Good.

    Keep taking the tablets, but I think you should increase the dose a bit!

  14. yes, I think it's unimportant games that no one much will want to see. The important matches will be in London.

    I dunno about cancelling them. I just hope no one agrees to play from our countries, and then they can field a de facto England team.

    It might make it more difficult for FIFA to change its mind when a suitable bung comes along from whomsoever.


    Good piece on the Olympics here.

  16. Tris

    Thank you for the link. To call it a farce would praising it a bit to highly.

    On the football at Hampden what is the betting that there will be 50000 free tickets for each game given to schoolchildren. If that happens the Scottish government should give each of them a Saltire.

  17. tris

    Proper Cybernat coaxing a vulnerable young man(he he) into taking a dangerous drug overdose causing death or possible extreme brain damage...........

    Ah ha! I now see your stratagem seek to cause extreme brain damage to meself and thus make me more Susceptible to Nationalist mind trickery oh no old son you'll not get me like that.

  18. You'll be safe enough Niko!

    Football is a business and as such has no right to be in the olympics.

  19. CH

    this is indeed true and like tennis should not be in the Olympics

  20. Niko

    I am confident that there is no chance of you getting brain damage.

    As this is Tris be nice to Niko week I will not tell you why you will never get brain damage.

  21. Aye Dubs they've made a right mess of it. And then we have Sebastian Coe excusing the fact that corporates have got more than half the tickets with "well, they paid for it". Like the folk of all the countires in the UK haven't. And the people of London doubly so.

    Just hope Shona's watching everything they make a mess of and making sure that we do better.

    Yes Saltires all round now that the Nob le Lard ffoulkes is no longer around to question the cost, although I'm sure his trusted pencil sharpener Kazia will do it for him.

  22. Damn damn and thrice damn, Niko. I had a fiendish plan, but as always with you unionists, you saw right through it, and threw it back at me.

    Oh woe is me, for I am undone. I fear you are too smart for me ...erm...young... man. hmmmmm.

  23. I agree with you CH. It's about getting an Olympic medal and being able to charge the sponsors more. Absolute nonsense. There's already enough of it in any case.

  24. Am I being nice to Niko this week, Dubs. Well thank heavens the week's nearly over then.

    Nah, I'm always nice to Niko. Spook told me to look after him!