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UK’s independent footballing nations causing ‘division’ says Conservative editor

20 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
Wales celebrate Euro 2016 success. Picture by Jeremy Segrott (CC BY 2.0)

The UK’s independent footballing nations are causing division, according to the editor of a Conservative news site.

Henry Hill, the news editor at ConservativeHome, said that Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland having their own “sub-national” teams and leagues was damaging to Unionism.

“It’s a shame that the UK doesn’t have a national football team of its own during events like the Euros,” he wrote in the Spectator.

“The game is a natural focus for patriotic pride across the world, but here it can only spotlight our divisions. This seems to have become much more the case over the past few decades, with the rise of nationalism and the apparent retreat of the Union Jack from the stands.”

He added that with “saving and strengthening the Union supposedly one of this government’s top priorities, it cannot afford to neglect the question of sport — and football in particular”.

Merging the football leagues of Wales, England and Scotland was another option on the table, he added.

‘Headlong’

However, he concedes that attempting to create one UK football team to compete at the national level would be very difficult.

“Not even the most muscular of muscular unionists would try to consolidate the four teams into a British national side, of course,” he said.

“Even a happy warrior in the cause of shuttering the Scottish parliament must concede the impossibility of that vision.”

He instead suggests that more emphasis be put on ensuring a UK football team at the Olympics.

“Even without a national team, there must surely be ways to lend a greater British dimension to the beautiful game?” he asks.

The suggestion did not go down well on social media, with Thomas Mark Baker remarking: “I actually think the one thing that would plunge Wales headlong in to nationalism is taking away its sports teams.”

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hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

The man is seriously defective. There again when you look at the abject English performances there may be merit in combining the 4 nations into a single “Greater Britain/England” entity which would no doubt become England after a discreet period of time, like a year perhaps.

The Tories are clutching at straws now, a sure sign that their inner confidence is fragmenting rapidly and will shatter under the strain soon. Losing a “safe seat” in their Blue wall is yet another blow to their smug superficial self-belief.

Howell williams
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Can you imagine how much closer Scotland and Wales would be towards a union who took their teams away .
Total bloody idiot.

Ken covack
Ken covack
1 month ago

As it is now, the Englalander lay claim to all the footballers who play in the Englaland premier leagues, preventing Welsh & Scottish internationals from playing for their countries so limiting the ability of each side to even train together is not unheard of

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Hands off our teams.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Anybody see any branding for the “England and Wales” cricket team? No it’s billed as “England” and any Welsh players are assumed to be English. How did this this idiot get an editors job? Mind you he’s devised a quick method of pushing the Indy vote over the winning line.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

Not quite, it becomes “England and Wales” when there is a problem!

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

If we needed more proof that Wales is culturally distinct, we can always rely on the British establishment to reinforce the point for us. Keep it coming, gents! How does mandatory Welsh lessons for all UK government employees sound? How about a verse in the anthem changed to Yr hen iaith? How about ditching Dickens on the curriculum and replacing with Dafydd ap Gwilym? Then the Scots get their turn to chop and change. No? Well then, guess none of this works. Rhyddid nawr.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

Quite. With you all the way CJPh.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
1 month ago

If they tried to make The Lions the only international rugby team Wales would sesede by next weekend. 😂😂😂

Mark Blagrove
Mark Blagrove
1 month ago

This is a Tory complaining about the rise of nationalism? Hypocrite. And the irony is that Tory nationalism is leading to a united Ireland and independent Scotland.

Kathleen Walker
Kathleen Walker
1 month ago

Worthless Tory ,hates anything not English. Too bad the rest of the home nations would have to cover for tHe choking Sais!

Hannerglych
Hannerglych
1 month ago

There’s an irony here that no one wants to talk about, on either side. Football was codified before the British Empire went into decline. When 23% of all humans were subjects of the British Empire, there was a kind of logic (yes, I know, a skewed logic) to having sports team representing each of the British Empire’s many cultural entities, and to calling them “national teams”. That’s how we got where we are, along with the fact that football and rugby happened to have been codified in Britain. If football had been codified in Russia rather than Britain, then by… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

Not a surprise, is it?

When Wales “overperformed” at Euro 2016, praise from many sections of the British media and the English fan base turned to questions around forming a single UK Team.

The British media and establishment did not like the added sense of Welsh national identity that the Euros provided, and they perhaps felt insecure about it.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

This is possibly the most ludicrous statement to come out of the unionist camp yet; it’s difficult to know whether to laugh at it or be offended by it. I’d just love them to try making this a reality and then watch as Scotland and Wales tell him to mynd i grafu.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

I don’t think it’s ludicrous. Never have I felt that my cultural and national identity as a Welsh person is at risk, as much as I do now.
The devolution referendum was a benchmark in Welsh democracy during my lifetime, but it is now seen as a threat to Tory Unionism.
If they threaten that, there’s no reason why they would not threaten other symbols of “division”. We must remain on guard.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Dw i’n cytuno cant y cant. I totally agree with you. Most of the statements currently coming from the unionist camp are, I maintain, ludicrous, including Johnson’s latest proposal, namely insisting that Welsh and Scottish schoolchildren sing his newly-penned “anthem” for Britain. But in combination, these statements and proposals are insidious and do represent a major and long-term threat.

Siân
Siân
1 month ago

My national identity has always been Welsh. Being British has always meant English with uncomfortable connotations like loyalty to a privileged so called royal family and singing God save the queen, and I don’t believe in either….. Wales isn’t even on the union jack, we’ve always been invisible in that sense. In theory I wouldn’t have an issue with being part of an equal United group of countries – Kingdom doesn’t sit right for a republican!!…. but can’t imagine that happening. Those in privileged positions wouldn’t allow it…they could never grasp the concept of equality among peoples and nations. For… Read more »

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