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Gibraltar Have Been Confirmed As 54th Member Nation of UEFA: The Daily EPL

gibraltar 600x424 Gibraltar Have Been Confirmed As 54th Member Nation of UEFA: The Daily EPL

Against the wishes of Spain, Gibraltar today have been confirmed as the 54th member nation of UEFA.

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the tip of Spain. The population of 30,000 residents have twice rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty, and remain closely tied with Great Britain.

What this means for the other UEFA countries is that there’ll be another team competing in future qualification matches for the European Championship tournament. They’ll be eligible to compete in the qualifying stages for the European Championship in 2016. Plus their club sides will also be allowed to compete in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

While it’s excellent news for Gibraltar, it’s a sign that UEFA needs to rethink their qualification process for major tournaments. There desperately needs to be a pre-qualification round where the minnows play each other to determine who will move on to the Euro 2016 qualification matches.

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Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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10 Responses to Gibraltar Have Been Confirmed As 54th Member Nation of UEFA: The Daily EPL

  1. jtm371 says:

    i hear they have a rock of a defense.

  2. Bishopville Red says:

    Definitely time to develop stages of qualification for the minnows. It’s a pretty common practise in CONCACAF, and AFC, probably CAF too. By getting the minnows out of the way, you will get rid of crappy matches that devalue “the brand” and you’ll give those teams a chance to improve by playing against similar competition. I have no doubt the Faroe Islands get more out of a tight match vs San Marino than a 10-0 stomping vs. Holland.


  3. Patrick says:

    Does anyone know any information about the status of the Kosovo Football Federation’s status to gain entry into UEFA. I seem to remember a few years back Sepplito (Little Sepp) aka Michel Platini saying that they wouldn’t be joining UEFA anytime soon.

    • Matt says:

      You have to be a member of the United Nations to join UEFA, until that happens they have zero chance. I know Croatia wanted to play Kosovo in a friendly (probably to “stick” it to Serbia) but UEFA threatened to ban Croatia from Euro 2012 so they backed off :D

      At the moment there is too much opposition to Kosovo, from some “big names” as well (China, Russia, Spain) so I don’t see it happening soon

      Anyway congrats to Gibraltar, I would actually like to see a mini-tournament with them, San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein etc.. and see who is the best of them, and yes I would be willing to watch it :D

    • Bishopville Red says:

      According to Wiki:

      FIFA reverted the decision (refusing them entry into FIFA and EUFA) in May 22, 2012, stating that Kosovo may play other nations in international friendlies according to Article 79 of the FIFA Statutes.[

  4. rej4sl says:

    I don’t think UN membership is a criteria. As Palestine, Puerto Rico, Faero Islands, etc. all play football and are not members. There are quite a few others too.

    • Matt says:

      For UEFA it is rej4sl…not sure about FIFA. Faroe Islands is a part of the Danish Kingdom, Denmark is obviously in the UN.

      Quote from Platini: “Politics is not my job, and UEFA honors its statute, which is clear: a state that does not belong to the U.N. cannot become a member of the organization, but I would like for us to find a way for young people in Kosovo to play football”

      • rej4sl says:

        So you have to be part of a country which is a part of the UN. So Faroe can be as they are part of Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales and NI as they are part of the UK. But Gibraltar is a a British overseas territory not part of the UK so hypothetically not part of the UK.

        • rej4sl says:

          Apparently FIFA rules say you have to be a member of the UN or a country to be part of that organization. This is not retroactive so the 24 territories which are currently part of FIFA can stay. So I assume Gibraltar can not now join FIFA.

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