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Friday, July 27, 2012

Daily Mail wakes up to devolution

The decision to form a GB Football Team has been hugely controversial in Wales, where there have been concerns that it will lead to the Welsh football team losing its right to play in international tournaments.

Twelve years of devolution has raised national awareness here and that has underlined those concerns. Many people, who would have described themselves as British before, now think of themselves as Welsh first and British second.

There has been little understanding of these issues amongst Olympic and UK Football officials. There has been even less understanding in the UK media. So you will have to excuse me if I take a perverse pleasure in the Daily Mail's outrage that some Welsh and Scottish players refused to sing along to God save the Queen at the opening match.

To the non-English players this is a chance to play in an International tournament for the first time. It is for that reason that I have not resented too much their decision to go. The politics of their decision is a secondary factor to them.

If though they have upset the Daily Mail this much, so early in the tournament, then maybe it was worth it just for that.
In recent years, not all England players have joined in the anthem at the start of even competitive internationals. Did the Daily Mail castigate them as republicans?
I see the Olympic team listing for Team-GB in football listed Joe Allen as "English". Perhaps they didn't know he's Welsh, and plays for Swansea. It's not as if he's been suddenly made British because he's got white skin, like Zola Bud. Ironically it was the Daily Mail campaign who made the maid of Bloemfontein British due to the racial apartheid ban on South Africa in the 1980s. Perhaps the Daily Mail is a bit selective about it's outrages. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika as they sing in Sketty.
In the end it was a bit of a farce with English league players playing for England as the commentator said England have the ball twice.

If the Scots and the Irish had played they would be from the English league I sure.
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