Tag: Scotland

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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Remains of Rous: FIFA And The Team GB Question

The forthcoming Olympic Games and whether a united “British” team should be allowed to play in the competition has reopened one off British football’s oldest debates. Jason LeBlanc takes a look at the history of this fractious state of affairs. The subject of a unified British team partaking in next summer’s London Olympics has been broached on this site before, but with the Euro 2012 qualifier between Wales and England featuring some players that would compete together if their associations—along with those of Scotland and Northern Ireland—agreed to the matter, it feels prescient to gloss over the matter again.  Further, with former IFA president Robert Boyce recently calling upon FIFA to set out concrete assurances an Olympic Team Great Britain would not threaten the independence of the Home Nations going forward, it is a topic that is being revived.  Before plowing forward, though, let’s go back to some of the historical origins of this sticky wicket. Try not to snore too loudly when you fall asleep midway. When English FA Secretary Sir Stanley Rous handed over the till from the 1947 “Match of the Century” to FIFA, he purchased a unique position for the Home Nations that still exists today.  Donating the £35,000 to the cash-strapped international organization—which when adjusted using RPI amounts to over £1 million today—Rous bought the preservation of the 4 independent football associations along with...

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England: The Auld Enemy?

It’s been brought to my attention that there’s something called a World Cup starting later this week and that I might want to start writing about it. I’ve got to admit the enthusiasm isn’t really coming naturally to me in the way it might once have done. Maybe I’m just getting old but I’m not so sure that’s sufficient to explain it – it’s not that I’m not still capable of getting ridiculously overexcited about footie. (I’ve just read that Raith might be bidding for Kevin Smith and the prospect of seeing him and John Baird up front next season is getting me as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve.)

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New Zealand Revive Memories Of The Summer Of 1982

New Zealand have qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals by beating Bahrain in Wellington this morning, and this result may have stirred a few memories amongst men of a certain age that will remember their only other successful qualification attempt, from 1982.

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Scotland The Brave

Ever since their stunning win at the 1998 World Cup and subsequent permanent placement at (or near) the head of the European football table, I have found something disquieting about the pre-eminence of the French national team. I should point out at this juncture that I am a Francophile of some note. I love the country, the culture and, yes, its football. The conclusion that I have arrived at is that the biggest single reason behind the success of the French national team is that they have very little pressure put upon them – certainly much less than England places upon its team. The French may or may not be more apathetic towards their national football team than the English are towards theirs, but their apathy must surely be better for their blood pressure and may even help their team get on with the job of simply playing football, as opposed to being a twenty-four hour media circus. We found ourselves in Toulon last Wednesday night – the night of the crucial European Championship qualifier between France and Scotland. I knew already that it would be too much to ask to find somewhere showing the match between England and Russia but, whilst Toulon is predominantly a rugby town, presumably finding a bar showing the France-Scotland match shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The match was being shown live...

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