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Football: “Spanish Blocking Of Gibraltar in UEFA Totally Unacceptable” says Garcia

The Leader of the Liberal Party Dr Joseph Garcia has said in an interview with BBC News that the blocking by Spain of Gibraltar's admission into UEFA is totally unacceptable.

Dr Garcia was interviewed in Gibraltar on Friday for a planned feature on BBC and BBC World Service programmes on this issue, given that the next meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee takes place this week.

He told the BBC that it is totally unacceptable that Spain should mix politics and sport, and that despite the professions of goodwill from Madrid, this kind of situation shows that at base little has changed.

Dr Garcia explained how there was a political directive from the Spanish Government which instructed its national sporting federations to block the admission of Gibraltar. Despite this, many associations from Gibraltar had achieved international recognition and football was a pending case. He said that it was not only about Gibraltar flying its national flag, but about the development of the sport in Gibraltar.

UEFA had changed its rules in the past, under Spanish pressure, in order to leave out Gibraltar. There was now a judgement of the Court of Arbitration for Sport which had to be complied with, said Dr Garcia. He rejected the latest Spanish claim that the Victoria Stadium was on disputed land.

The Liberal Leader had sent a paper to Liberal contacts last month precisely on this issue.

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