SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan has once again highlighted the SFA’s opposition to any sort of participation in the planned Great British Football team for the London Olympics 2012, despite claims to the contrary from the British Olympic Association Chief Executive Andy Hunt, who said that he was ‘incredibly positive’ of a fully inclusive squad.
Regan confirmed to the Official SFA website, that there has been no discussions with Hunt and no indication of interest from any of the Men’s and Women’s squad players who have been consulted.
Regan said: “Our position remains: we are opposed to taking part in Team GB, I was surprised by Andy Hunt’s comments, especially since we have had no dialogue with him. We signed a letter to FIFA in 2009 which gave the FA the right to represent the Home Nations as Team GB. We need to protect our identity and we have no interest in taking part. We have consulted with the Association of Tartan Army Clubs and they are opposed to participation in Team GB and we have also spoken with the squads, who have shown no appetite for it, either.”
Regan believes Hunt should have talked with the SFA before he went public with his comments.
He said: “Communication is essential on these matters and, given that we have been in dialogue for some time, it would have been helpful if we’d all had the chance to speak on the matter before anything was made public. I guess Andy is under a great deal of pressure from the London Olympic Games Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee to get tickets on sale for the football events. As we know, there isn’t a final position on Team GB as far as football is concerned. We haven’t spoken to Andy. We’ve had dialogue with the Football Association but our position on the matter hasn’t changed.”
On FIFA’s stance on a Team GB, Regan said: “FIFA have made it clear as far as they’re concerned, they’re passing the matter back to the British Olympic Authority and to England to try to get to a successful position as far as a Team GB is concerned. We’ve seen FIFA’s comments and they’ve stated they were prepared to give assurances that there wouldn’t be any future repercussions if Scotland do participate in Team GB. However, we’re aware that any change of FIFA Executive Committee in the future can overturn that decision. Therefore, it’s very important for us to maintain our independence. Scotland has a seat at the FIFA table, it has a seat at the International FA Board under the banner of Scotland. As far as we’re concerned, that’s something we feel is very important and something that we wish to protect.”
He added: “We recognise that, legally, there is nothing we can do to stop players putting their hand up and wishing to take part or being selected to take part. But it’s something that we wouldn’t endorse and wouldn’t be prepared to put our independence at risk over.”
Are the BOA and Politicians who back Team GB, risking the Home Nations independence for a few ticket sales? Do you back a Team GB or are you dead against it? We want your opinions.