altTHE Scottish and Welsh Governments have both said today that they remain fiercely opposed to the idea of a united British football team taking part in the London 2012 Olympics.


Both said that their positions remain unchanged even after FIFA's ruling Executive Committee yesterday said that a British team for the Games would not jeopardise the independence of the Home Nations for tournaments like the World Cup and European Championships.


Scottish Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell said: "This news doesn't change anything.


"FIFA is an organisation whose statutes are determined by the voting of national members, rather than the views of the Executive Committee.


"Football fans across Scotland, including the Tartan Army, do not want a GB football team and nor do the Northern Ireland and Wales football associations.


Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland supporters' associations are also opposed to this daft idea.


"If we are looking for a one-off solution for London 2012, then why not let Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all take part in the Olympics football tournament as indeed was done for other Olympic team sports in the past?  


"[FIFA President] Sepp Blatter is already on record as saying that a GB Olympic team would put into doubt the independent football status of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


"What is vitally important is that nothing is done that could be used as ammunition to remove Scotland's independent status from the World Cup and European championships, as a GB Olympic football team undoubtedly would do.


"The SFA (Scottish Football Association) does not support the idea of a GB under-23 team because it threatens the very existence of Scotland within FIFA.


"The Scottish Government wholeheartedly backs that position.


"We would do well to follow the advice of Scotland's football experts, including former national coach Craig Brown.


"[Prime Minister] Gordon Brown and [Scotland Minister] Jim Murphy are happy to play fast and loose with the future of Scotland as an independent football team for their own narrow political agenda.


"The SNP and the Scottish Government will back the SFA."


Wales' Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also the leader of Nationalist Party Plaid Cymru leader, said: “The governance of football in Wales is obviously a matter for the FAW [Football Association of Wales].


"Plaid as a party would not be in favour of any development that could endanger the future status of Wales’s national football team.”


Peter Rees, the president of the FAW, said: “Some people are playing a dangerous game.


"We have heard things being said about Sir Alex Ferguson being talked to about managing the side.


"Is this a political team or a football team that is being talked about?


“But I wouldn’t’ say we are coming under political pressure - simply because nobody from the [British] Government has spoken to us about it.


“The only pressure is coming from the London media and not the Welsh public who can see this for what it is.


"They know the situation.


"If anyone did a poll it would clearly show nobody wants this.


“There are more than 200 countries who vote on such matters, not just an Executive Committee or one figurehead so no assurances can be given.


"But we have had none anyway.


“And let’s not beat about the bush, this is an under-23 tournament not a full national competition - so why would we put our national heritage in jeopardy for a youth tournament?”