Saturday, 8th December 2012

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UEFA ‘obliged’ to accept Gib -Platini

UEFA president Michel Platini said yesterday that football’s European governing body had little option but to accept the Gibraltar Football Association as a full member.

The Congress, which takes place in London next May, must vote on whether to accept Gibraltar’s entry into UEFA.

But Mr Platini, who was quoted in the Spanish press after meeting with journalists at UEFA headquarters, suggested there was no choice but to let Gibraltar in.

“We’re obliged to include Gibraltar because that is what the Court of Arbitration for Sport is asking us to do,” he was quoted as saying.

“That is why we will have to ask the Congress to accept the decision.”

Since 2001, UEFA rules state that only countries recognised as sovereign states by the United Nations can be accepted as UEFA members. But Gibraltar’s membership application predates that, so the rule does not apply.

Mr Platini recalled that the Congress had rejected Gibraltar’s application for membership in the past.

“But now we have a ruling from the court that obliges us to recommend the opposite,” he said.

The GFA noted the comments attributed to the UEFA president but reacted with caution.

“Whilst welcome, the comments make no difference whatsoever to the GFA’s efforts to secure a positive vote in the UEFA Congress in London in May 2013,” it said in a short statement.

“The GFA remains committed to working on the roadmap alongside UEFA and to building relationships with all fellow UEFA members.”



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