Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Great Britain 1-0 England

Its very easy to get swept away with the political nonsense that is swarming around the Great Britain football team for the Olympics. In perspective every football fan, whether English, Irish, Scottish or Walsh knows that the Olympics football tournament is of far less importance than the World cup or the Euro. I might even go as far to say that the League Cup has more prestige and significance.

The point is, the Olympics will clash with Euro 2012 with its unfortunate timing, so being drawn in to the debate of who manages, the nationality of who plays, which nations participate and so on, will be unrewarding as the focus will be on "which hotel should we book in Poland/Ukraine" and "why wasn't Beckham selected, hes only 37!!

How ever unrewarding the debate might or might not be, what I don't understand in my political naivety, is why, given the albeit flimsy promise from FIFA not to jeopardise the individuality of each nation in the future, are nations worried about loosing their teams? How could a "meaningless" tournament as described by the SNP's Pete Wishart, have the power to wipe out the individual nations in future tournaments?

The rest of the Great Britain team, from what I understand is made of people from Great Britain. And when they return from the Olympics they are not held up at customs because they now have no recognised nationality and have become an illegal alien.

Also, and this is not the first time we hear of special cases, purely as this is football we are talking about, but why is it that the British Lions are capable of uniting and competing in tournaments, without the threat of dismantling their respective nations upon return?

The chances, I believe, of their being no Scotland or Wales or Ireland or even England for that matter, in future football tournaments, just because of a gold medal enticing Olympic kick around are slim at best. Can you even begin to imagine the up raw. The logistics alone would cause Great Britain to implode.

Pete Wishart also described the reason Gordon Brown is calling for a united team, is a political move, demonstrating his "British Agenda". Well, given that this will be the first Olympics held in the United Kingdom since 1948, its hardly surprising that there is some excitement and call for "British" unity. Ironic that if the situation is not resolved, there is a possibility that the Great Britain team that enters the Olympics might be all English, as confirmed by Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, which even as an England fan I find disappointing.

Anyway, I went against my own word and got swept away with the political storm that will always be brewing around the whole Great Britain football team debate, right next to the when will the Scottish Premier amalgamate with the Premier League cloud. What I will end with is that given that all the home nations failed to qualify for the last major tournament, Euro 2008, may be the Olympics doesn't seem so meaningless after all....hmmm.

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