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Great Britain Football Team

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

6. What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the creation of a Great Britain football team for the 2012 Olympics. (240215)

I met my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport last month. I am passionate about our national sport and national team. If there is to be a one-off under-23 football Team GB at the London Olympics, I want to make sure that it does not affect any of the home nations.

Will the Secretary of State not get it into his skull that the Scottish Football Association, the tartan army and the vast majority of Scottish football fans want nothing whatsoever to do with his Team GB, and that his and the Prime Minister’s attempt to bully Scotland into a Team GB threatens the very continuation of the Scottish football team? Will he now take the advice that Sebastian Coe so sagely offered the SFA—“Go away and do absolutely nothing to threaten our team”?

It is true, of course, that all politics is personal, and for the hon. Gentleman all politics is personal insult. He does not want a one-off British Olympic football team, but nor does he want a British Olympic cycling team that Chris Hoy did so well in, a British rowing team that Katherine Grainger did so well in, and a British Paralympics team that Aileen McGlynn did so well in. The fact is that he does not believe in a country called Britain, so it is hardly surprising that he does not want to see any representation of Britain at the Olympic games, but I am pleased to say that the majority of Scots continue to support the United Kingdom of these great islands.