Spain Football Federation to Boycott UEFA if Gibraltar’s bid is accepted
European Champions Spain could be refusing to retain their European title, and gaining a EURO hat-trick, if UK overseas territory Gibraltar are granted full UEFA memebership.
Gibraltars ever tiring effort to joining UEFA is getting closer to becoming a reality. The colony numbers to only 30,000 residents, but they maintain one of the oldest leagues across the globe. They first bid in the 1990′s but have been consistently obstructed by Spain’s threat to quit any tournament which Gibraltar participate in. So if the Gibraltar bid is accepted then there will be no football for Spain in the European Championships, no FIFA World Cups as European competitors must compete under UEFA registration, and the Spanish League will no longer take part in the domestic tournaments such as the Champions League and the Europa League. Football’s highest power, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, have shown support for Gibraltar, and UEFA is agreeing to put the application to a vote at the 2013 Congress in London. Gibraltar will not be able to qualify for the 2014 World Cup as qualifiying would have already taken place, but they would be free to qualify for the 2016 Euro’s in France.
Gibraltars team coach Allen Bula says “Not getting into UEFA is not an option, there’s no other route for development.” The only international football they play is the biannual island games. Bula had persuaded football team from across England to visit the area and play friendlies against the national squad. Gibraltar beat Bury 2-1 in Januray and have also played international friendlies against Faroe Islands and England C, made of conference players. The players from ‘the rock of the med’ beat the Faroe Islanders 3-0 and also defeated England C 3-1.