Autonomy, Misrepresentation & That Most Peculiar Beast: Team GB

Rumbling along quietly along in the background, the ongoing argument over whether a Great Britain team should take part in the 2012 London Olympics has been one of the slow-burning debates within British football over the last half-decade or so, but this debate ignited this afternoon after a series of statements, made in turn by the British Olympic Association, the Football Association, the Scottish Football Association and the Football Association of Wales, which already seems likely to turn into a full-blown argument. Andy Hunt, the BOA’s chief executive, was reported at the weekend feeling “very positive” that an agreement could be reached between the four constituent national associations and the BOA in order to allow a single team to represent Britain at the games. Today, though, such “positivity” couldn’t feel further away. The reservations of the FAW and the SFA are well-known and understandable. They are concerned that this could be used as leverage to force a merger of the four associations by FIFA. Whilst such a scenario playing out would be highly unlikely (and why, critics of this idea would argue, would FIFA wait for an excuse to do this if they wanted to that much anyway?), critics have hardly been appeased by soothing (and, at times, somewhat contradictory – after all, this is FIFA that we’re talking about, here) statements from FIFA on the subject. Perhaps the...

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