GFA application approved!!!!
GIBRALTAR IN UEFA UNTIL JANUARY CONGRESS DECISION – ‘MADRID CONFIDENT OF ULTIMATE REJECTION’
By F Oliva (Chronicle.gi)
GFA has obtained provisional membership of UEFA following a decision by the executive committee meeting in Switzerland, GFA vice-president Albert Buhagiar confirmed to the Chronicle last night.
However, this will still have to be ratified by the full UEFA congress that will be held in Germany in 25th and 26th January 2007.
According to reports by Europa Press news agency, the move has been taken in tandem with a recommendation by the executive for the GFA application to be rejected by the UEFA Congress – in effect the ‘political’ power behind European football’s ruling body at which member state federations are represented.
Meanwhile in answer to questions Mr Buhagiar said the decision had still not been posted in the UEFA website and they would need to see it in full before giving an official reaction.
“What I can say now is that it is about time that we were given the provisional recognition. Now we will have to wait and see what happens. We hope that we get a favourable decision when congress meets in January, so that we can dedicate ourselves to keep going for the good of football in Gibraltar,” said Mr Buhagiar.
Earlier in the day GFA were delivered an unexpected blow as FIFA said that Gibraltar does not meet the statutory requirements to become a member of football’s world governing association.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry was last night quoted as saying that there was no possibility of Gibraltar making the final hurdle in January given that the UN does not recognise it as a separate state. It was also quoted as saying that this initial step is not relevant”.
The surprise statement came just a few hours before the UEFA executive pronouncement on the fate of the GFA’s application for provisional membership.
Membership of UEFA which GFA has been seeking, is a prerequisite to apply for FIFA membership. The GFA has been involved in litigation since 1999 and in summer obtained a favourable ruling from the Court of Arbitration and Sport that instructed UEFA to extend provisional membership to Gibraltar.
The bill for legal fees paid by the Gibraltar Government stands at £175,000.
More reports to follow throughout the day
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