Should GB keep playing football at the Olympics?
As a Guernseyman I suppose I am a neutral when it comes to international politics, however in the footballing world I am an England supporter through and through (one of my Grandfathers was English and I now live in the beautiful country so I do have a link!). Recently these two issues have collided with the introduction of the Great Britain football team at the London 2012 Olympics. There seems to be two opinions…
a) What a great idea, this will bring the nations together
b) What a load of rubbish, we are separate nations and need to keep national identity
From what I have heard (WARNING…sweeping generalisation coming next) it seems that the English are for a GB team and the Scottish and Welsh are against it. I’m not even sure what Northern Ireland are saying anyway, isn’t it good when I write these well-informed blog posts?! I see this largely down to politics rather than actual football, with the devolution of power in Wales and Scotland wanting independence they see the merging of teams as a threat. England clearly are the big boys of Britain and have influenced the way it has developed, but I have a concern over this political landscape. We see each section of the UK and GB as different countries because they are, but we are one island nation and lets face it we are actually friends. If the revolution ever came we would band together without a second thought. I think we need to see GB as a bunch of friends who have a good bit of banter. We have all done some pretty horrendous things to each other in the past (particularly England!) but we are at a time of peace and a time when national identity is not as important as it once was. So lets strip back the politics and think about who we really are, I am not saying combine to become GB all the time but lets dust off those blue and white shirts every four years and bring all the nations together. I say that a GB Olympics football team is a great idea, as long as that is what it is, an Olympic football team. Lets put measures in place to show that we value our independence, we are different, but we came come together when needed. That way we can have GB at the Olympics and England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in all other international tournaments. Alternatively we could make four separate teams at the Olympics, but that would open a completely different can of worms!