Blair backs all-British Olympic football team…

TONY Blair would like to see an all-UK football team at the London Olympic games (although it’s referred to as a ‘Great Britain’ team, as is the tradition of the Olympics). The Times reported that of the four British football federations, “England and Northern Ireland have given their backing to a united team, but Wales and Scotland have not”.

  • And Bliar knows where he can stick it too!.

    A team of eleven Englishmen masquerading under something called the “Yoo Kay”?, no thank you.

  • Cahal

    Wouldn’t this eventually lead to a UK soccer team.

    Surely then any decent player from the north would throw their lot in with the Republic, as the UK team will be England + a token Scot.

  • harpo

    “England and Northern Ireland have given their backing to a united team, but Wales and Scotland have not”.

    The Scots as usual are acting like what they are – a bunch of losers.

    As usual when it comes down to it, the English can depend on their loyal fellow Brits from NI, but not on the selfish begrudgers.

    I can’t understand this at all. There is no threat to the status of Wales or Scotland with respect to having separate teams from UEFA or FIFA’s points of view.

    This is simple begrudgery. The Scots especially specialize in that.

    It would serve the buggers right if FIFA and UEFA, in the light of Scotland not playing fairly here, moved to a ‘one team per country’ point of view. There is some demand for that within FIFA already from countires who can’t understand why the UK gets 4 teams.

    If the Scots want to act the maggot and bring down a FIFA vote on themselves, so be it. I’d laugh my ass off if FIFA imposed one UK team on the UK. What would the Scots do then? Still refuse to play on it?

    Maybe that would spur them on to trying for independence, and we would end up with an unofficial Scottish team in the way that other bunches of rebels have teams – Catalonia and the Basques being the 2 best examples.

    Bring it on I say. It would serve the buggers right.

  • Mark Hampton

    If the English football team was run the way British politics is…………

    Dear English FA

    As representatives of the Scottish FA we would like to inform you that we wish to change the way the English football team is managed to bring it more in line with the way our government has been run in the last few years.

    This will involve the following:

    1. The Manger of the Scottish football team is allowed to be involved with the running of the English team. However, the manager of the English team should have no say whatsoever in the running of the Scottish team. This shall be known as the West Lothian Athletic question.

    2. A sizable proportion of any money the English FA raises from, say sponsorship or crowd takings, shall be given to the Scottish FA, regardless as to whether you need it or not. This does not apply the other way round. This is known as the Barnett formation.

    3. The nationality of the English manager should be brought in line with the nationality of the leaders of the major political parties. ie Scottish. Therefore, we insist that Graham Souness be appointed to be manager of the English team with immediate effect.

    4. You are not to call yourself England any longer. You will now be known as the British Regions. We, on the other hand, are still to be known as Scotland, “a proud and noble nation”.

    5. From this moment on, the English FA will cease to exist. However, the Scottish FA will be allowed to continue to work independently.

    A failure to follow these rules will see you branded as arrogant, selfish and unfair.

    I’m sure you will find this to you satisfaction. After all, you seem to be happy with this state of affairs with our political system. So why not your football team?

    Yours sincerely

    Mr A McBlair and Mr G McBrown, SFA

  • I can tell you right now Harpo that most Scots would happily go down that route because, other than the eejits that turn up at Ibrox every other weekend, there’s no one waving a union jack up here.

  • Mark Hampton, as you colourful metaphor for UK politics alludes to, the idea that “The Manger of the Scottish football team is allowed to be involved with the running of the English team. However, the manager of the English team should have no say whatsoever in the running of the Scottish team” is plain wrong.

    Control of defence policy, taxation, immigration and many other areas of national importance are still retained by Westminster.
    That is why it is called ‘devolution’ and not ‘independence’.

    I could see you point if Scotland was completely independent but still retained voting rights in a UK parliament, that would be nonsensical.
    However, we are not in that situation.

    In fact, the UK government retains such power that it could theoretically abolish Holyrood with a snap of its fingers.
    Of course this will not happen, and people south of the border who are grumbling about the the current set-up are faced with two choices.

    1) Get your facts right and stop moaning.
    2) Hand over the rest of the powers and let Scotland manage its own affairs for better or for worse.

  • Cahal

    Mr Eye, wouldn’t you need a majority of people in Scotland to actually want independence first?

    I get the impression too many scots enjoy “mutha’s breast milk”.

  • “wouldn’t you need a majority of people in Scotland to actually want independence first?”

    The prevailing attitude in England will force all parties into looking at a solution to what they perceive to be the current malaise sooner rather than later Cahal.

    I’m no Mystic Meg, but if Scots are forced to choose between shutting down the parly in Edinburgh or going the whole hog and becoming independent – there will be separate Olympic teams afore long.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Mark Hampton

    Post of the year. A classic.

  • Keith M

    Cathal “Wouldn’t this eventually lead to a UK soccer team.” No there have been united teamns at the Olympics on a number of occasions, and FIFA have said that they are ok with the idea of a united team in London, and it would make no difference to the four national organistions.

    “Surely then any decent player from the north would throw their lot in with the Republic, as the UK team will be England + a token Scot.”

    I suspect that football may not be your specialised subject on Mastermind. The U.K. team is guaranteed a place in the Olympics as they will host. The Irish team has tried to make it to the Olympics on several occasions and failed every time.

  • Crow

    Maybe a dumb question but are Northern Ireland’s athletes represented in the Olympics only through the UK contingent? In which case there would be very few. In which case why not throw in your lot with Republic?

  • Rory

    Another great idea from our inspirational leader.

    Now, in order to follow it through, he is fortunate to have John Prescott, currently freed up from other onerous duties, to get the job done.

    Peter Reid will as always be on standby to take over the reins whenever John, inevitably, is caught with his trousers round his ankles while displaying the finer points of the game to his new secretary.

    Next year proposals for an all-UK tennis star to win Wimbledon will be appraised by a select committee including such luminaries as Tara Palmer Somethingorother and Jeremy Clarkson, the well known and much loved London cabbie.

    Vote New Labour – you know it makes sense!

  • harpo

    ‘Wouldn’t this eventually lead to a UK soccer team.’

    Cahal:

    Well spotted, given that this is what Tony Blair is asking for.

    Of course the point of asking for a UK soccer team is strangely enough to eventually have a UK soccer team.

    When Blair said he would like such a team, what did you think he was advocating? 2p off the top rate of tax?

  • harpo

    The Eye:

    What Mark Hampton said is quite right. It’s a great analogy.

    He isn’t talking about ‘federal level’ things in his analogy – he refers to local level stuff, and in the analogy quite rightly uses the Scottish and English teams as analogies for local level laws within both England and Scotland.

    He didn’t refer to a UK level team at all.

    So in his anlogy Scottish representatives get to interfere in what logically should be an English only concern. That applies whether or not he is talking about English laws or the English football team.

    Are you always so humourless?

  • harpo

    ‘No there have been united teamns at the Olympics on a number of occasions, and FIFA have said that they are ok with the idea of a united team in London, and it would make no difference to the four national organistions.’

    Keith:

    Good points. There is no logical reason as to why the Scots couldn’t take part in this. Scots are members of all sorts of other teams within the UK Olympic squad (and take part in individual events), so what is it about Scottish football that makes it so different?

    Is a Scot any less of a Scot because he/she is on the UK squad for the 100M, or the discus, or the 200M breaststroke? I don’t think so.

    I’d say this is pure pig-headedness on the part of the Scottish FA, supported by Scottish football fans who are in general also pig-headed.

    It reminds me of the Scottish FA’s attitude to the 1950 World Cup. Scotland qualified for that World Cup but withdrew from the finals because they didn’t come first in their qualifying group, which at that time consisted of the Home Championship. Who came first? England of course, and Scotland weren’t going to go as second best.

    Just like then, this selfishness is based on nothing more than anti-Englishness. They were losers then and they are losers now.

  • harpo

    Maybe it’s good that Scotland and Wales don’t want to take part, since they are both shit at the moment and there isn’t much hope for either of them getting any better.

    NI has shown that it can beat England, so a combined England and NI squad should do very nicely. Elliott and Healey would be naturals for the first team.

    I see nothing wrong with a UK team consisting of people who actually want to be there.

    And if the Scots and the Welsh don’t want to play then they can bugger off. There won’t be any of the Olympic football games held in Scotland or Wales if they don’t want to participate. England has got lots of good stadia, and some games could be held at HMP Maze to reward the IFA.

  • Henry94

    When anyone advocates an Ireland team they are met with an amount of reasons why the north should keep its own team. Now that argument has been conceded the logical thing to do would be to proceed to a united Irish FA and international team.

    That would be the de-facto outcome of a British team but without the IFA having a say. The worst of both worlds.

  • Jocky

    For all the begrudgers, The Scots are the only team from the UK to have previously qualified for the Olympics. But they didn’t go to upset the rest of the “losers” in the UK.

    Why don’t they simply see which of the 4 national teams do best in qualifying and just enter the one national team under the UK OLympic banner, simple really.

  • PHIL

    The English FA (or “The FA” as they like to call themselves) are so spineless it is unbelievable. Rather than bending over backwards to accomodate Blair and Brown’s unionist agenda, they should be asking why there isn’t an English olympic team that they, as football’s governing body in England, could send a team to the olympics to represent the English nation. At least the Scottish and Welsh FA’s have a spine and a sense of national pride.

  • Michael Robinson

    I believe Olympic football is an Under 23 competition so Theo Walcott will miss out… but he should be used to that.

  • Brian Boru

    The Scots and Welsh are right to resist a cynical proposal like this. Probably intended to undermine their separate national identities – especially in Scotland where Labour faces a strong SNP challenge. The NI team supporting the All-UK team just goes to show how un-Irish this team is in terms of its players’ national identity and another reason why no Nationalist would support it – or a British-wide team – over the Republic.

  • Prince Eoghan

    BG.

    You do seem to give credence to a load of eedjits, the eye rubbished all yer man was saying. And this story is how old? this issue was put to bed a long time ago. Tony must be trying to appease the slabbering masses, you know talk football, talk of conquering other nations fitba teams.

    We in Scotland, as the proud inventors of the beautifull game, and acknowledged as exporters of it around the world(much like the Irish and Catholicism). We gave it to the S.Americans, and are acknowledged along with Irishmen like Bernardo O’Higgins(liberator from Spanish rule) as part of the invigoration of that continent. I seem to remember a few teams that have done well since football was introduced there by Scots.

    Now FIFA have granted perpetual single nation status(or something like it) as regards football, due to being one of the initial founders of the world and Euro associations. We are represented very well, and even have guys from the mighty Brechin City sitting on EUFA committees. Any attempt to take away our rights as single nation reps would be much, much less popular than daft wee Dave’s idea, to make us second class citizens in this soon to be defunct union.

    Harpo says;
    “The Scots as usual are acting like what they are – a bunch of losers.”

    Harpo, personifies the growing Unionist anger at the realisation that, we in Scotland really are going to destroy this union, not just grumbling any more I am afraid. Harpo is clever enough(stop me if I go too far) to understand that they(unionists) could ignore the English not wanting them while there is a viable union. Without Scotland to help pay for the sectarian statelet, the gerrymandered 6 counties would be up shit creek without a paddle. Anyway it is heartening to see Harpo venting his spleen in another direction.

    Everytime there is talk of union, we get the same propoganda shite about mothers tit, England bankrolling Scotland. I’m sure this has been true on many occassions over the 300 years, but this has not been the case over the last 30 odd years. Not meaning to blow Scottish trumpets(but I will) Scots have also punched far higher than her weight in practically any field you wish to mention, believe me England has had her money’s worth. I could bore you all to death(go on dare me), suffice to say how many top govt. jobs are held by non-Scots at present?

    In the words of Mel Gibson “They can take our lives, but they will never take our freedom”

    Magnify our anger 100 fold if anybody tries to take our fitba, as an olympic team would lead UEFA to question our commitment to our status. Especially at a time when our land is soon to be independant.

    Phil.

    Kind words, we will be sure to leave the light on at our border posts. Although no economic migrants please;¬)

  • seanniee

    More rubbish from Blair.This will set a very dangerous precedent for Scotland and Wales.
    At least they have the sense to see through it.
    As for NI thier association is just Pathetic.

  • Rory

    Whatever the composition of the team it might be best not to have Lord Levy in goal. He’s looking decidedly dodgy in that role for the government team at the mo’.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Oh come on Rory, we all know that his game is tennis. After all that’s where all the cash is. I was going to say cricket, since their home is at lord’s. But decided it was too obvious a paper note trail that.

  • Young Fogey

    Mark Hampton

    Your analogy is sort of clever in a Daily Mail columnist type of way. But actually, the leaders of the two biggest political parties in the UK are both English (no, going to Fettes does not actually make you Scottish). The English are getting to be terrible whingers these days, just because no-one else supported your team of prima donnas, thuggish chavs and overpaid ballerinas during the World Cup.

    Who really cares about Olympic football anyway? It’s a second rate tournament. And who’d want to support the England team in drag?

    Crow

    It depends on the sport – some are organised on a UK basis, some on an All-Ireland basis. NI athletes are therefore usually represented in both squads depending on which Olympic Committee their sport is affiliated to. Hence our hockey players compete in the UK squad, our boxers in the Irish squad (to quote one example).

    Brian Boru

    Labour don’t face a strong SNP challenge in Scotland. The SNP is in freefall at the moment. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_Election%2C_2003 and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/vote2005/html/region_7.stm – Labour have been shedding votes to the LibDems and to the left.

    There’s certainly a sustained, long-term, change in attitudes to Britishness and the Union in Scotland, which has been going on for around 40 years, and is deeply visible when you ask Scots about their national identity and compare the answers from under 30s with over 70s; but the idea that this means Scottish independence is just around the corner is fantasy.

  • PHIL

    I think you’re right Prince, I’d say this story was about a year old, but the fact that it took the opposition of the Scottish and Welsh FA’s to ensure that it isn’t going to happen says everything you need to know about the suits at the so called English FA (don’t want to harm our chances of a knighthood, old boy). Re the lights at the border, please do leave them on. If anyone asks I’ll tell them that you said it was ok!

  • Pid

    Hmmmm…..

    even little ol’ Montenegro left in the end.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Young Fogey.

    Another myth dispelled, much like the one that says England subsidises Scotland.

    http://www.alba.org.uk/polls/2006polls.html

    The SNP are in the lead in recent Mori polling. Indeed all three parties advocating independance, the Socialists and greens along with the SNP outstrip the once dominant labour party. Granted polls are different from elections, I am more than happy to await next years one.

    Phil.

    Will do. I see no reason why our two nations can’t live in harmony in the future. We have had a relatively harmonious union, and the days of feudalism are gone. Also, you know from experience that you would want to be on our side in a fight. Ask the Germans;¬)

  • PHIL

    “Also, you know from experience that you would want to be on our side in a fight.”

    Too right, I’ve been out in Glasgee on a saturday night. LOL.

  • Sean

    What is Blair trying to hide?
    He had a go at the LTA over prize money at Wimbledon whereas it is the All England club that pays the prize money.
    Whenever Labour attacks something in the wrong something is up like hiding Peter Mandelson’s bribe scandals which would put Neil Hamilton to shame.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    Oh it’s all quite civilised these days. They have polis road blocks at the city centre outskirts. After enquiring if you have an offensive weapon, if you reply to the negative, they are more than happy to supply you with one;¬)

    The reality is that it is all change. In the words of Govan’s finest(no, not the currant buns) Rab C, Glasgow has been “sartoriously sand-blasted.” The change is remarkable, even since I returned from Oz about 10 years ago the turn-around is drastic. Believe it or not but Glesca now rates highly in desireable places to live and is mentioned in despatches all over the world for the magnificent architecture.

  • Young Fogey

    Eoghan,

    Come on! Really, one opinion poll in a country with a history of fickle polling does not change the fact that the SNP have been going backwards in real elections for the past 10 years. And this is just one poll. For example, Labour, even at an anaemic 33%, led the SNP by 10 points in the only other poll taken this year.

    I could see the SNP having a good year next year, with Salmond back at the helm instead of blubbering Sturgeon and the LibDems stuck where they were, but even then, we’re talking 28% of the vote at absolute, total, best here. It’s hardly storming the Bastille, especially when you consider that most of the Greens’ voters don’t realise they’re pro-independence and the SSP are split, as they are about everything.

    I can certainly conceive of circumstances in which Scotland leaves the UK, or indeed the UK just dissolves, in the next 30 years. But not being a determinist, I don’t think they’re guaranteed and I can’t see them happening in the next 10 years under any circumstances.

  • PHIL

    I jest Prince, it’s been a while (July 1996, Celtic v Arsenal and Rangers v Arsenal) but aside from a couple of numpties on the tube coming back from Ibrox, a fine time was had by all as we were well looked after by both sides of the “old firm”.

  • Prince Eoghan

    YF.

    This time 6 months ago everything that you have said I would agree with, however there is now an undeniable momentum. Salmond and the SNP seen resurgent, in all the media yesterday and today for giving Blair another stiff left hook. This is a feather in the cap of Salmond in an anti-war Scotland.

    What may well really bring in the votes is his reaching out to the Catholic community, my Dad said the other day that even he would vote SNP(swoon) My Dad like almost all Catholics over 40-50 have voted labour all their lives. They used to view an independant Scotland akin to a 6 county situation, and feared the worst. They would rather the devil they knew(England and the union) than the devil they hated(Paisley and the death-squads) Thankfully Scotland has emerged from it’s anti-Catholic past(note to unionists, it is possible) and is even talking up closer links with it’s Celtic cousins in Ireland. We had a great thread about this on here several weeks ago.

    However, you have alluded to the most important point. The bride of Frankenstein that is Sturgeon and her partner in crime the bumbling McSwinney are no longer thrust into the public eye as much. This along with the obvious popularity of Salmond will bring in the most votes I feel.

    Don’t discount daft Dave’s recent plans, I’m sure that these plans to initiate some kind of two-tier legislature will be sure to have alienated some and ruffled the feathers of others. Of course all is just educated speculation, it’s just that mars is now in conjunction with venus and…..;¬)

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    By coincidence I was at Pierce(I think) O’Leary’s testimonial in 1984(I think) what a great time dancing in the fountains in Traf SQ, having a sing-song about Maggie outside Downing ST. Visiting Kilburn and not seeing a white face until we hit the Irish boozers, I was even allowed a shandy. The absolute best was singing “free Nelson Mandela” outside the S. African embassy at the SQ at God knows what time, charged up from my shandies many hours before, whilst awaiting our bus home.

    I have been a gunners fan of sorts since early childhood, and even Charlie Nic was playing for Arsenal that day, we were in the bit to right of Camera pre-seats. We won(I think) Celtic that is.

    Jeez… I’ve got carried away, sufficed to say I had a memorable day.

    I may have been at the game in 96. Can’t remember though, I’ve since graduated from shandies.

  • Mike

    Henry94

    “When anyone advocates an Ireland team they are met with an amount of reasons why the north should keep its own team. Now that argument has been conceded the logical thing to do would be to proceed to a united Irish FA and international team.”

    To use a footballing analogy, that shot is so wide of goal it’s gone out for a throw-in, Henry.

    Northern Ireland supporters are opposed to the abolition of their team, whether that means it being submerged into an All-Ireland team or a UK team.

    The proposal here is that NI along with England, Scotland and Wales combine in a one-off situation that would last only for a few weeks in the summer of 2012, in a temporary UK team to compete in an under-23 tournament that the UK is hosting – a tournament NI cannot compete in.

    No-one is suggesting a UK team replace the four home nations teams. No-one is suggesting a UK full international team. there’s not even going to be a UK under-23 football team at any other tournaments before or after the London Olympics, and quite rightly so, since the qualifiers for the Olympic tournaments are the European under-21 championship qualifiers, in which NI and the other UK teams compete.

    The IFA and NI fans have been quite clear they’d only suppport the idea of a UK team at the 2012 Olympics if assurances were given that this would not harm the continued existence of the NI team in international competition.

  • Mike, don’t try and insert any facts into an argument about the Northern Ireland football team. The tendancy here seems to be to speak first and check the facts later, or more usually not at all.

    In summary: The IFA (and the English FA) have not agreed in principle to abolishing their own team for a UK one, just in co-operating to have a UK team set up for a one-off in the 2012 olympics, an issue which only arises because the UK are hosting and therefore qualify automatically for a competition they usually do not (or cannot) attempt to qualify for.

    The problem the Scots and Welsh have is that they think it would be used as an argument by FIFA in forcing the 4 home nations into one UK team, which nobody wants.

    So nobody’s “conceded” abolishing the NI team. Anyone want to discuss the actual issue rather than the one in their head?

    I’m not sure that Blair’s opinion will change the minds of the SFA or WFA, but here’s hoping.

  • Prince Eoghan

    “Magnify our anger 100 fold if anybody tries to take our fitba, as an olympic team would lead UEFA to question our commitment to our status.”

    Posted by Prince Eoghan on Jul 13, 2006 @ 10:03 AM

    Beano.

    That’s not in my head now is it? You tell me what thread does stick wholeheartedly to the central issues? not many. Anyhow, I’d like to think it all sort of evolved.

  • PHIL

    That would have been David O’Leary’s first testimonial (he had another v Man United when he reached 20 years, oh for that sort of player loyalty!) but I didn’t go to that one. One Celtic match that does stick in my mind was Paul Davis’ testimonial in 1991. It poured with rain, poor old Paul had his thunder stolen by the returning Charlie and the Messiah, sorry Brady and the Clock End (which would’ve been where you stood previously) was a sea of beered up Scots and Irish. It ended 2-2 and Charlie Nic scored against Arsenal in front of the North Bank and got mobbed by Gooners while Paul Davis cot carried on the shoulders of the Celtic contingent. Outside afterwards I swapped my new “Champions 1990-91” scarf for some right tatty piece of green and white rag that looked like it had seen plenty of matches previously (doh!). This was followed by the mother of all drunken sing-songs in the Plimsol Arms, Finsbury Park. Happy days indeed. Now, what was the topic of this thread again……..

  • Prince Eoghan

    ” tatty piece of green and white rag”

    How dare you, no such thing. That scarf would probably have been passed down from generation to generation, and revered as such. Many a time in someone else’s place I have been shown memorabilia and told of all the places that it has been, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and all the generations it has passed through. The guy has probably given you a family heirloom, and that is how you talk of it, bluidy Inglish. LOL

    In sympathy, similar happened to me in St Ettiene during France98 and most recently Seville03. Giving away treasured stuff only to get tat back. The lesson is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I was in Oz in 91, but I’m sure that I have heard stories about the game. Celtic fans are great travellers, but also great boors, or should that be bores in relating the stories. Good times Phil;¬)

  • Young Fogey

    Salmond and the SNP seen resurgent, in all the media yesterday and today for giving Blair another stiff left hook.

    Events, dear boy, and short term ones at that. If the dissolution of the Union ever happens it will be the long term trends rather than a short term blip that doesn’t.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Your opinion old fella. I have provided my reasons aplenty, care to join in.

  • harpo

    ‘Now that argument has been conceded’

    No it hasn’t.

    This is a one off event and doesn’t impact the status of the 4 British FA’s, not their teams.

    The Olympics requires one team from the UK, a real country.

    Any request for an all Ireland team is based on cobbling together a team to represent a geographic entity – the island of Ireland – and not a country. There is no logic to having an all-Ireland team. It’s simply a desire by Irish nationalists to see the whole island be deemed to be the entity that should be represented.

    There is no more logic to it than calling for a united British Isles team.

    If there is any argument for getting rid of the NI FA, then it would be on the basis of having a UK FA, since NI is part of the UK. But FIFA has assured the 4 UK FA’s that their special status will be retained, and that this one-off Olympic team won’t impact that special status.

  • harpo

    ‘they should be asking why there isn’t an English olympic team that they, as football’s governing body in England, could send a team to the olympics to represent the English nation. At least the Scottish and Welsh FA’s have a spine and a sense of national pride.’

    PHIL:

    Bollocks. The IOC recognizes the UK as the entity that gets to send a team to the Olympics. There is no English team, and there aren’t Welsh and Scottish teams either.

    How is that the Scots enter the Olympics under the UK banner in all other sorts of disciplines, but when it comes to football they don’t want to do so under some idea of national pride?

    Are footballing Scots real Scots and those who participate in other sports sellouts?

  • PHIL

    Family heirloom eh? I’ll need to get searching when I get home tonight, that scarf is going on e-bay!

  • harpo

    ‘The NI team supporting the All-UK team just goes to show how un-Irish this team is in terms of its players’ national identity’

    Brian Boru:

    Un-Irish? Of course they are un-Irish you moron. That’s sort of the point of partition etc. NI is British, and presumably most if not all of the players would accept that.

    Did you not understand the bit in the GFA about some people in NI having British identity? This is the outcome of it.

    What in hell’s name leads you to think that anything about this issue has got to do with Irishness? NI is part if the UK, and so when a discussion comes up about a united UK team, of course the IFA is going to decide if they want to be part of it or not. Since Ni is part of the UK.

    And it is only their concern. How in the name of Sam Hill do you extract anti-Irishness out of it? It’s one of the British FAs being asked to be part of a combined British team. If they decide to do so it isn’t because they are anti-Irish, or anti-French, or anti-Brazilian. It’s because they are British and want to be part of a combined British team.

  • harpo

    ‘No-one is suggesting a UK team replace the four home nations teams. No-one is suggesting a UK full international team. there’s not even going to be a UK under-23 football team at any other tournaments before or after the London Olympics, and quite rightly so, since the qualifiers for the Olympic tournaments are the European under-21 championship qualifiers, in which NI and the other UK teams compete.’

    Mike:

    Good post, and a treat to read after all the other nonsense. This has been done in the past and nothing happened regarding the status of the 4 UK FAs, so all the fear-mongering is just that.

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    The IOC actually has many members that aren’t “nation states” and there is no reason why England, Scotland, Wales and indeed Northern Ireland couldn’t have individual representation at the Olympic games. There is already widespread support for Scottish representation at Olympic level amongst MSP’s. The only reason that there is a lack of political will for English representation is because we lack the institutions of government (at the moment) to make it happen, so less of the bollocks if you don’t mind!

  • harpo

    ‘So nobody’s “conceded” abolishing the NI team. Anyone want to discuss the actual issue rather than the one in their head?’

    beano:

    Well said. Facts seem to be too much for some people. We even have someone saying that the decision by the IFA to go for it, shows how un-Irish they are! Not surprising, given that it is one of the British FAs.

    Some people can manage to take offence at anything.

  • harpo

    ‘The IOC actually has many members that aren’t “nation states”’

    PHIL:

    You are still talking bollocks. If what you say is true, name 6 of these members.

    ‘and there is no reason why England, Scotland, Wales and indeed Northern Ireland couldn’t have individual representation at the Olympic games’

    Yes there is. The IOC would have to approve it, and for that to happen there would have to be some change in the constitutional status of the UK. Like Scotland becoming independent. If the IOC started granting special status to regions of nation-states then all sorts of folks would want to have separate teams – Quebec, the Basques, the Catalonians, and every other group of malcontents who don’t have actual independence.

    FIFA only recognizes the 4 separate parts of the UK because of the special role that these 4 separate FAs played in getting the sport going on an organized basis. If there was no such special status for the 4 UK FAs, the likes of Scotland wouldn’t get it today just by asking. They’d have to actually leave the UK to get it.

    ‘There is already widespread support for Scottish representation at Olympic level amongst MSP’s.’

    That’s nice. The same goes for Quebec etc. There are many folks in regions of countries who would like separate teams, but the issue of the fact that they are already part of a country is ignored, and in a number of cases they don’t have enough support to actually separate from the country they are in. Like Quebec. They can’t get enough support to separate from Canada, but that doesn’t stop mouthy politicians in Quebec demanding everything under the sun. Like having a separate Olympic team. The fact is that they aren’t entitled to one.

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    From the IOC Charter: “Although most National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are from nations, the IOC also recognises independent territories, commonwealths, protectorates and geographical areas.”

    Six examples:

    Andorra
    Hong Kong
    Monaco
    Palestine
    San Marino
    Virgin Islands

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Harpo

    “Un-Irish? Of course they are un-Irish you moron. That’s sort of the point of partition etc. NI is British, and presumably most if not all of the players would accept that.”

    Is THAT the point of partition?

    Seriously though, how does partition, or even British sovereignty over the north, make Northern Ireland “unIrish”? That seems like quite a leap of logic.

    “Irish” – it means “of Ireland”, doesn’t it?

    How can a political arrangement make Northern Ireland cease to be “of Ireland”? A new ice age might do it, but a political arrangement? And a specifically provisional one at that? Hardly.

    Most people here accept the logic of their location, and their consequent Irishness – or “of Irelandness,” if you prefer.

    “Did you not understand the bit in the GFA about some people in NI having British identity? This is the outcome of it.”

    But it isn’t necessary to be “unIrish” in order to be “British”. Hundreds of thousands of people are living proof of that.

    On the contary, it is illogical to be of Ireland and yet claim not to be Irish, whatever about your allegiances to Britain or anywhere else overseas for that matter.

    “What in hell’s name leads you to think that anything about this issue has got to do with Irishness? NI is part if the UK, and so when a discussion comes up about a united UK team, of course the IFA is going to decide if they want to be part of it or not. Since Ni is part of the UK.”

    Northern Ireland is part of the UK, that is a fact. However, northern Ireland is also, as the name suggests, part of Ireland. “Irishness” is about the things that are “of Ireland”, so clearly Northern Ireland is a big part of that?

    The rugby crowd recognise the reality of Ireland and its Irelandness. Same as GAA, boxing, golf (Dunhill Cup), hockey (novel compromise of allowing northerners to play for Ireland most of the time but for GB in the Olympics), swimming and, well, most things apart from soccer.

    “It’s one of the British FAs being asked to be part of a combined British team.”

    Sorry to be a pedant but the IFA isn’t a “British” FA. It IS a UK association, but not a British one. “British” means “of Britain”. Northern Ireland is not “of Britain”, no matter how much anyone might wish it was.

    Unless when you say “British”, you mean “possession of Britain”? But I would accredit you with more self-respect that to adopt such a toe-curlingly colonial bit of grovelling.

    “If they decide to do so it isn’t because they are anti-Irish, or anti-French, or anti-Brazilian. It’s because they are British and want to be part of a combined British team.”

    But they are also Irish. Your analogy would hold true if we lived in “Northern Brazil” or “Northern France”. But we don’t. We live in “Northern Ireland”, and the rest of Ireland is not just some random country with which we have no links. On the contrary, the rest of Ireland is the territory with which our sporting links are strongest, and with which we co-organise most of our sports.

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    You may care to look here,

    http://www.englisholympicteam.org.uk/

    and here,

    http://www.c-scot.org/

    Maybe then you might have some idea of how feelings towards our own national identities and how they should be represented are here in “Britain”. Take your head out of the sand, you are watching the union unravel in front of you.

  • Keith M

    PHIL; Andorra, Monaco and San Marino are sovreign states.

    Billy PO; “British” is the commonly accepted adjective of something related to the U.K. The same as “Dutch” (which originally only related to Holland) now cover all things from the Netherlands.

  • harpo

    ‘Seriously though, how does partition, or even British sovereignty over the north, make Northern Ireland “unIrish”? That seems like quite a leap of logic.

    “Irish” – it means “of Ireland”, doesn’t it?’

    Billy:

    It wasn’t me that said that the actions of the IFA made them un-Irish – that was said by a nationalist poster. Take it up with them if you disagree.

    As for the definition of Irish, it depends on what you mean by being ‘of Ireland’. Does that mean ‘of the island’, or ‘of the state known as Ireland (or the ROI)’.

    When the nationalist poster said that the actions of the IFA indicated the un-Irish nature of them, what did HE mean by that? Did he mean that it meant they suddenly could not claim to be of the island of Ireland? That makes no sense since they are of course of the island.

    I think it is more likely that he meant that it means that the IFA is not Irish in the political way – ie of the ROI, or wishing to be part of the ROI. But I don’t see why he would be so surprised by this since the IFA does consider itself to be one of the UK FAs. And that means that they recognize that they are a British FA, and obviously not an Irish one. That’s why NI competed all those years in the British Home Championships, along with the other 3 British FAs.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Keith

    “”British” is the commonly accepted adjective of something related to the U.K.”

    Oh, I know that’s the common misconception.

    “The same as “Dutch” (which originally only related to Holland) now cover all things from the Netherlands.”

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know that Holland and the Netherlands were not the same – please tell me more if possible. Very interested.

    Also, is the word “Dutch” an English-language corruption of Deutsch? Don’t the Dutch call themselves Nederlanders?

  • harpo

    ‘You may care to look here,

    http://www.englisholympicteam.org.uk/

    PHIL:

    Thanks for the link to more people talking bollocks. They open with this gambit:

    ‘when the people of the British Isles consider themselves to be English, Scottish or Welsh and not British.’

    So the people of the British Isles are either English, Scottish or Welsh are they? What a nutter.

    That site is probably run by one guy. It has no other info on this supposed ‘issue’.

    I could start a site demanding that everything in Wales be painted pink, and start a petition to back up my campaign, but it doesn’t mean there is a mass movement behind it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Harpo

    “As for the definition of Irish, it depends on what you mean by being ‘of Ireland’. Does that mean ‘of the island’, or ‘of the state known as Ireland (or the ROI)’.”

    Clearly it means the island. That’s what Ireland is – this island. Remember, the state only takes IT’S name from the island. Even if someone tries to claim the name for themselves it doesn’t change the fact that this is all Ireland and we are all Irish.

    It seems remarkable to me that so many unionists, when confronted with the Republic’s claim of the name Ireland, has simply surrendered and walked away from even calling themselves Irish, and instead set them against the facts of their physical existence – with all the psychological damage that has entailed.

    “When the nationalist poster said that the actions of the IFA indicated the un-Irish nature of them, what did HE mean by that?”

    I don’t know. Perhaps he was alluding to the fact that we have two traditions on this island, and the IFA is perceived as being hostile to one of them – the one that embraces the label “Irish”. That’s another argument. But clearly the Irish Football Association is every bit as Irish as the Football Association of Ireland. Anyone who claims otherwise is flying in the face of reality.

    “I think it is more likely that he meant that it means that the IFA is not Irish in the political way – ie of the ROI, or wishing to be part of the ROI.”

    Yep, that’s probably it. But it’s inaccurate to talk about this in terms of “Irishness” – though of course it’s a mistake made frequently by both sides of the argument.

    “But I don’t see why he would be so surprised by this since the IFA does consider itself to be one of the UK FAs. And that means that they recognize that they are a British FA, and obviously not an Irish one.”

    Of course the IFA is a UK FA – it governs football in one of the four “Home Nations” of the UK. It used to be one of the “Home Associations” though since the demise of the Home Championship, this has had no practical meaning.

    It is of course an Irish association – the original one, in fact, hence it’s name. (The Irish Football Association – couldn’t be any more forthright than that!)

    But first and foremost, it is an independent association. In international footballing terms, “Britishness” has no meaning, and the IFA is not linked to its English, Scottish or Welsh counterparts any more than to the FAI or French FA or anywhere else.

  • Keith M

    Billy P ; “I know that’s the common misconception.” If it’s a misconception, what is the adjective relating to the U.K.?

    “Holland” is actually only a couple of provinces with the Netherlands. The idea that the two are interchangeable is a misconception.

  • harpo

    ‘Six examples:

    Andorra
    Hong Kong
    Monaco
    Palestine
    San Marino
    Virgin Islands’

    Phil:

    I’ll give you the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong as exceptions, but the other 4 are very definitely states. Andorra, Monaco and San Marino are microstates, but still states. The State of Palestine was declared in 1988 and 93 other countries recognize it. It has its problems but it is a state.

    Now back to the point – you said that there were many of these entities, so I asked for just 6. You have only provided 2 real ones. If there really were that many you would be able to choose from lots of them with no problem, but you weren’t able to. 4 out of your 6 are not what you claimed them to be.

    And even the 2 genuine ones are not parts of established countries that have in some way gained the right to opt of of being represented by their main country. The Virgin Islands is an amalgum of 2 territories, and Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, having recently returned to that country. The other Chinese SAR (Macau) isn’t separate for Olympic purposes.

    What I don’t see are the biggie regions of the world that routinely whine about being nations that are trapped (either wholly or partly) in other countries – the Kurds, Quebec, the Tamils, the Basques, the Catalans. Or for that matter the Irish (as defined as everyone on the island).

    So I doubt that Scotland can just apply and get a separate team. If they really meant it they would vote for independence and then they would be entitled to their own team. But having half-assed ‘campaigns’ isn’t going to get them anywhere.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Keith M

    “If it’s a misconception, what is the adjective relating to the U.K.?”

    There isn’t one.

    Which is suggestive in itself.

  • slug

    British is the adjective relating to the UK.

  • harpo

    ‘It seems remarkable to me that so many unionists, when confronted with the Republic’s claim of the name Ireland, has simply surrendered and walked away from even calling themselves Irish’

    Not so surprising at all, when the ROI took the word Irish as meaning something different from just being from the island.

    I have no doubt that my ancestors were fine with calling themselves Irish, while all of the island of Ireland was within the UK. But as soon as the word Irish started to be used in terms of an attachment to the Irish Free State, and then the state called Ireland, that obviously changed.

    You can’t blame unionists for walking away from the word when it became politicized. Suddenly to be Irish meant coming from (or being aligned to) the IFS or then the ROI, with all that entailed – the flag and the anthem. Suddenly being Irish didn’t just mean being from the island.

    Even today I don’t see much sign of this island basis Irishness that you talk of. When there are St. Patrick’s Day parades etc, it isn’t a celebration of island Irishness, is it? It’s all ROI flags, and green, white and orange. Those symbols are related to the ROI, not island Irishness. Why should unionists join in with these displays of political Irishness?

    This was being discussed yesterday in terms of rigby. Many of your fellow nationalists were of the opinion that the IRFU should demand that the ROI anthem be used in Belfast, as if the Irish (all island) rugby team belongs to the ROI. It doesn’t.

    It’s that sort of attitude about Irishness that has turned most unionists off. If that’s what the majority of Irish people think then screw them. It shows no tolerance for unionists on the island and displys the usual nationalist ‘the whole island belongs to us and our state’ attitude.

    This is exactly the attitude that that nationalist poster displayed when he said that the actions of the IFA with respect to this combined UK team showed them to be anti-Irish. he meant political Irish, didn’t he.

    Like it or not NI is in the UK, and since the IOC says that the UK has to have a football representing the UK if it wants to enter, it is obvious that it is going to be the 4 UK FAs that are going to have to work together (or not) to come up with some form of combined team. That means that the IFA (no matter what it is called) is going to be representing NI in those discussions, since they are the governing body for NI.

    I really don’t see what the fuss is. In international footballing terms, “Britishness” does have a meaning in this case. The 4 British (looking at things from a political point of view) FAs are involved here, and no amount of whining ‘but they are from the island of Ireland’ or ‘they have the word Irish in their name’ is going to change that fact.

    ‘and the IFA is perceived as being hostile to one of them’

    How is it hostile to one of them? It is no more hostile to one tradition than the FAI is to the other, whern it comes to anthems, flags and things.

    And anyway, you are again thinking on an all island basis. This doesn’t apply in the case of football since there is no one single governing body for the island. There are 2 of them. Neither of them has to consider the 2 traditions on the island. Certainly the FAI doesn’t take the other tradition into consideration when using flags and anthems, so why should the IFA?

    And the IFA as you say is independent from the FAI. So while the FAI uses the flag of the ROI and its anthem, the IFA uses the flag of NI (not even its country – the UK) and the anthem of its country – the UK.

    If nationalists don’t like the arrangements being done in this way then I must say that’s too bad. Attacks on the IFA are just the usual nationalist attempt to destroy everything that shows any sense of the reality of things – the ultimate one being that NI is British. The IFA represents NI, not 2 traditions. Just as the FAI represents the ROI, not those 2 traditions.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Slug

    “British is the adjective relating to the UK.”

    Yes, it is the adjective that is always used, but it’s clearly illogical when applied to a state named the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Harpo

    “Not so surprising at all, when the ROI took the word Irish as meaning something different from just being from the island.”

    But my point is that it’s remarkable that unionism just took it lying down. I believe this denial of Irishness – and for such a childish reason – is at the root of unionism’s identity crisis.

    “You can’t blame unionists for walking away from the word when it became politicized.”

    No, I’m not blaming anyone for anything. I’m just remarking that it seems incredible to me that so many unionists did something so stupid and short-sighted and self-defeating and self-destructive as to set themselves against the facts of their geographical existence.

    “Suddenly to be Irish meant coming from (or being aligned to) the IFS or then the ROI, with all that entailed – the flag and the anthem. Suddenly being Irish didn’t just mean being from the island.”

    Says who? My point is that unionism COULD have fought against that claiming of the definition of Irishness, but chose not to. Instead unionists just walked away. They used to be the loyal Irish, but since rejecting the “Irish” label and becoming the only people in the UK to be “simply British” they clearly have struggled with issues of identity.

    “Even today I don’t see much sign of this island basis Irishness that you talk of.”

    Damnit, it’s up to YOU to create it! Nationalists and republicans have very clear ideas of the kind of Irish people they are – you can’t blame them for unionism’s utter confusion on the issue. Jesus, nationalists can’t carve out unionism’s place in the Irish context for them! Until unionism makes peace with its own past, its past contributions to Irish culture and history, and the sheer reality of its Irishness, it will continue to suffer from the kind of cultural rootlessness and communal decline that we have seen since, well, partition I guess.

    “When there are St. Patrick’s Day parades etc, it isn’t a celebration of island Irishness, is it? It’s all ROI flags, and green, white and orange. Those symbols are related to the ROI, not island Irishness. Why should unionists join in with these displays of political Irishness?”

    Come along and make your contribution!

    “This was being discussed yesterday in terms of rigby. Many of your fellow nationalists were of the opinion that the IRFU should demand that the ROI anthem be used in Belfast, as if the Irish (all island) rugby team belongs to the ROI. It doesn’t.”

    I totally agree. As far as I understand it, the IRFU has a longstanding agreement re the anthems issue, so when Ireland play in Belfast, GSTQ should be played. I think this should happen once, so the IRFU is seen to keep its commitment, but thereafter both GSTQ and AnaBhF should be discontinued, and replaced with Ireland’s Call. You’re quite right, the Irish rugby team is not representative of RoI but of all of Ireland. Sadly the republic does not yet encompass the whole island.

    “It’s that sort of attitude about Irishness that has turned most unionists off. If that’s what the majority of Irish people think then screw them. It shows no tolerance for unionists on the island and displays the usual nationalist ‘the whole island belongs to us and our state’ attitude.”

    In fairness, how do you expect the rest of the Irish people to think anything else? Unionists have completely abandoned all claim to the term “Irish”. If unionism fought its corner then a more rounded and accurate definition of “Irish” might be the common currency. You have to acknowledge unionism’s own complicity in what is an unsatisfactory situation for everyone.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “This is exactly the attitude that that nationalist poster displayed when he said that the actions of the IFA with respect to this combined UK team showed them to be anti-Irish. He meant political Irish, didn’t he.”

    I guess so, but he’s wrong. Why not tackle him on his inaccurate definition of Irishness, instead of accepting it and retreating?

    “Like it or not NI is in the UK, and since the IOC says that the UK has to have a football representing the UK if it wants to enter, it is obvious that it is going to be the 4 UK FAs that are going to have to work together (or not) to come up with some form of combined team. That means that the IFA (no matter what it is called) is going to be representing NI in those discussions, since they are the governing body for NI.”

    Of course. That is not in dispute.

    “I really don’t see what the fuss is. In international footballing terms, “Britishness” does have a meaning in this case. The 4 British (looking at things from a political point of view) FAs are involved here, and no amount of whining ‘but they are from the island of Ireland’ or ‘they have the word Irish in their name’ is going to change that fact.”

    I’m not saying it does. I’m simply saying that the Irish Football Association is Irish. Of course it’s a UK association, and if there is a combined UK Olympic team then this will actually become meaningful, for the first time since the old Home Championship was discontinued.

    ‘and the IFA is perceived as being hostile to one of them’

    “How is it hostile to one of them? It is no more hostile to one tradition than the FAI is to the other, when it comes to anthems, flags and things.”

    Whether the FAI is hostile to anyone is irrelevant to the question of whether the IFA is hostile to nationalists. There is a perception – hotly disputed by many, but passionately upheld by many others – that the IFA is no friend of Catholics or nationalists. Whether or not you or I agree with that perception, you can’t deny that the perception exists. That’s all I’m saying.

    “And anyway, you are again thinking on an all island basis. This doesn’t apply in the case of football since there is no one single governing body for the island. There are 2 of them.”

    All I’m saying is that they are both Irish.

    “Neither of them has to consider the 2 traditions on the island. Certainly the FAI doesn’t take the other tradition into consideration when using flags and anthems, so why should the IFA?”

    Because the IFA administers the game in a divided society, whereas the FAI does not. There is no controversy over the tricolour/AnabnF at RoI matches but there IS controversy about Union Jack/GSTQ at Windsor. In the event of a single Irish team then it would be incumbent on the organisers of that team to devise shared symbols, but at present that doesn’t exist. There is no reason for the RoI to change its symbols. NI is different, as NI is a divided society, yet the IFA aligns itself though its symbols with one side of that divided society. If you think that’s fine, fair enough, but you really can’t then complain when the other side castigate the IFA, and remain completely alienated from it.

    “And the IFA as you say is independent from the FAI. So while the FAI uses the flag of the ROI and its anthem, the IFA uses the flag of NI (not even its country – the UK) and the anthem of its country – the UK.”

    But NI is a divided society. Officially, of course you’re right that GSTQ and the Union Jack are the anthem and flag of the UK, of which NI is a part. But GSTQ and the Union Jack are NOT the flag and anthem of almost half the population. Doesn’t that seem to you to be a special set of circumstances?

    “If nationalists don’t like the arrangements being done in this way then I must say that’s too bad. Attacks on the IFA are just the usual nationalist attempt to destroy everything that shows any sense of the reality of things – the ultimate one being that NI is British.”

    In what sense do you mean “NI is British”? I’m Armagh born and raised, yet I don’t feel “British”. When I see British paraphernalia here, it strikes me as bizarre.

    “The IFA represents NI, not 2 traditions.”

    But why doesn’t it represent two traditions? Two traditions is THE defining fact of life in NI. How can any organisation aspiring to represent NI turn a blind eye from this face-slapping reality?

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    So because in your opinion I didn’t meet your criteria that makes me wrong and you right eh. Now read the IOC charter again and tell me that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland cannot have their own Olympic teams.

  • Seán

    Blair calls for a UK team and the enxt day his pal is questioned as to whether bribes rather than merit was involved in gaining honours. Well done Teflon.

  • Let’s face it, something has to give.

    The Germans have the intestinal fortitude to get up in front of a billion viewers and put away the penalties like there is no tomorrow. The Italians likewise. But put those English pansies up there on their own and they look as though they have wet their pants.

    They need some celtic power and class, those anglo posers. Wayne Rooney busting balls and breaking heads isn’t going to do it.

  • Rory

    Hiya, Sen,

    I felt I was going crazy till you showed up.

    Apart from Mark Hampton every other visitor here is taking Blair’s diversionary sound-bite seriously and all getting agitated about territorial nomenclature, cultural differences, old wars and even older grudges and the price of herring on the quayside or somesuch.

    If I may bring the herring further along, Blair has managed as my Tottenham mates say to “have ’em done up like a kipper”.

    Perhaps, believing that that means they are golden brown and well hung, they are happy.

  • Brian Boru

    “Any request for an all Ireland team is based on cobbling together a team to represent a geographic entity – the island of Ireland – and not a country. There is no logic to having an all-Ireland team. It’s simply a desire by Irish nationalists to see the whole island be deemed to be the entity that should be represented.”

    Then you are opposed to the current All-Ireland rugby team?

    “What in hell’s name leads you to think that anything about this issue has got to do with Irishness? NI is part if the UK, and so when a discussion comes up about a united UK team, of course the IFA is going to decide if they want to be part of it or not. Since Ni is part of the UK.”

    Then why is it called the “Irish Football Association”?

  • Keith M

    Billy P “Yes, it is the adjective that is always used, but it’s clearly illogical when applied to a state named the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

    There’s nothing illogical about it and in indeed this kind of noclature is common all over the Worls. The adjective for Trinidad and Tobao is Trinidadian. The adjective for Bosnia-Herzegovina is Bosnian.

    I’ve askeed for your counter-proposal and with none forthcomiing it’s clear the British is the adjective for the U.K.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Keith M

    “There’s nothing illogical about it and in indeed this kind of nomenclature is common all over the world. The adjective for Trinidad and Tobago is Trinidadian. The adjective for Bosnia-Herzegovina is Bosnian.”

    Your argument doesn’t actually contradict mine. You assert that I’m wrong, then demonstrate that there are other parts of the world in which adjectives are also applied illogically. None of which actually contradicts my point that to refer to Northern Ireland as “British” is illogical in a state called “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. I don’t dispute that people DO use that nomenclature. I’m just saying it’s illogical.

    “I’ve asked for your counter-proposal and with none forthcomiing it’s clear the British is the adjective for the U.K.”

    I have no counter-proposal. Why should I have? I don’t think there’s any need whatsoever for such an adjective. Clearly neither does anyone else, given that over two centuries since the Act of Union, there still isn’t one.

    Which is in itself, I think, telling.

    (Incidentally, I went to college with a guy who was certainly under the impression that he was Tobagan. Point is, a popular misconception is still a misconception.)

  • dantheman

    “Then why is it called the “Irish Football Association”?”

    Perhaps its should be renamed the un-irish football association!

    Harpo
    I have never heard anything so stupid as you saying the Irish Football Association is not irish. You have created new depths of stupidity.

    Also you, and many other unionist posters, appear to be in an amazing state of denial as to how british you are perceived on the……………..MAINLAND”!!!!!!

  • I.M. British

    Does’nt the ECHR have some sort of law/rule against dictating what a persons nationality is?

  • harpo

    ‘So because in your opinion I didn’t meet your criteria that makes me wrong and you right eh.’

    PHIL:

    That’s correct. If you make a statement saying that there are ‘many’ examples of this, and when asked to come up with 6 you come up with only 2, I’d say that you have indeed been proven wrong.

    If there really were ‘many’ examples of this, you could have replaced the original 4 that turned out to be actual states with another 4, couldn’t you? Given that they are supposedly so many of them. But you couldn’t do so.

    So in the end just about every entity that has accreditation with the IOC is a state, with just a few exceptions.

    ‘Now read the IOC charter again and tell me that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland cannot have their own Olympic teams.’

    OK, I’ve read it again, and there is still no basis for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having their own Olympic teams.

  • harpo

    ‘They need some celtic power and class, those anglo posers.’

    Aidan:

    You mean the Celtic power and class that resulted in none of the nominally Celtic teams qualifying for the World Cup finals?

    Yes, I’m sure that’s what is need, so that the England team can struggle to beat Estonia.

  • harpo

    ‘Then you are opposed to the current All-Ireland rugby team?’

    Brian:

    No, not at all. The IRFU didn’t split after partition. It was up to rugby people to decide what they wanted to do, and they decided to stick together and keep an all-island team.

    Given that there was a post-partition split with respect to soccer, I don’t see why nationalists want an all-island team put together. Why suddenly after 80+ years of getting along fine apart from each other should the 2 FAs be forced together?

    It makes no sense to me. But then I don’t think it’s supposed to make sence. It’s politics, and the desire of nationalists to destroy anything with a separate ‘NI’ label on it.

    ‘Then why is it called the “Irish Football Association”?’

    Because that was its name before partition. It may not make sense in a post-partition world 9from the political point of view) but hey, that was its name and they kept it. In fact if the argument put forward by many of this thread is correct, then it does make sense. It is the one of the 4 British FAs that is Irish, if ‘Irish’ is denifed as ‘being from the island of Ireland’.

    The IFA is the Irish British FA. Just as the SFA is the Scottish (being from Scotland) British FA.

  • harpo

    ‘I don’t dispute that people DO use that nomenclature. I’m just saying it’s illogical.’

    Just like using the word ‘Irish’ to represent the state called Ireland is illogical, if we are to accept that the word Irish means ‘being of the island of Ireland’.

    There’s a lot of illogical use of words round, but people know what you mean when you say things.

    Thus folks from the UK are British – it’s in legislation – whether or not it makes sense.

  • harpo

    ‘Harpo
    I have never heard anything so stupid as you saying the Irish Football Association is not irish. You have created new depths of stupidity.’

    Where did I say that? It was some other dude that said the actions of the IFA made them un-Irish.

    Of course it all depends on what you mean by the word ‘Irish’. If it means ‘being of/from the island of Ireland’ then of course the IFA is Irish. It’s the 1 of the 4 British football associations that is Irish. Just as the SFA is the 1 of the 4 British football associations that is Scottish.

    ‘Also you, and many other unionist posters, appear to be in an amazing state of denial as to how british you are perceived on the……………..MAINLAND”!!!!!!’

    The mainland of what? The UK? I know that many people across the UK have differing opinions from unionists in NI, but their ignorance of the subject doesn’t change facts. NI is British. You have just accepted that by calling GB the mainland of the UK. That means that NI is part of the UK too. Thus it is British.

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    You believe what you want to, but if you think that a few thousand union jack wavers in Ireland are going to stop the re-birth of the English nation and for that nation to have all the things taken for granted by most other nations (a government, parlaiment, oh and an olympic team) then you are in for a surprise!