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Football: As Gibraltar's decision on UEFA membership approaches we take a brief look at the GFA's recent history

As the time approaches for a decision to be made on the future of Gibraltar's football. We take a brief look at Gbraltar's preious international encounters.

It should be highlighted that Gibraltar's application is not primarily concerned in playing internationally, its main focus is on the development of the sport in Gibraltar. This would be achieved through Gibraltar's youngsters participating in junior competitions abroad and at home. Have easier access to UEFA coaching, for staff as well as players. Essentially the GFA's main aim is to provide the foundations for individuals to succeed in their footballing ambitions.

We hope, that the UEFA Congress of 52 members, will see our desire for membership is genuine and that to omit us as members of the European footballing family, would be a great injustice.

The UEFA COngress meet on the 25th January 2007 to make their final decision on Gibraltar's UEFA application. Let our dream and the dream of our youngsters be given priority and not those of states with political biases. There is no room for politics and sport.
(pictured Albert Buhagier)

Read more about Gibraltar's provisional membership from the Gibraltar Magazine's article on the topic.

The Gibraltar national football team represents Gibraltar in football competitions and is controlled by the Gibraltar Football Association. It is not yet a member of FIFA or UEFA and is therefore not eligible to enter the World Cup or the European Championship. On August 25, 2006, it was proposed that Gibraltar will become a provisional member of UEFA. However, a decision on granting this was postponed in October 2006 [1].

Island Games: The first competition the team entered was the 1993 Island Games. Gibraltar lost all of its matches, scoring only one goal and finishing in last place.

They had much more success in the 1995 Island Games, which they hosted. Despite losing their opening game against Greenland, Gibraltar bounced back to record their first competitive win, against the Isle of Man. Another victory over Anglesey saw Gibraltar finish second in the group, ahead of Anglesey only on goal difference, and qualify for the semi finals. There, they beat Jersey 1-0, before losing the final to the Isle of Wight by the same scoreline.

First international
Sevilla FC 2 - 0 Gibraltar Flag_of_Gibraltar.svg
(Spain; 15 April, 1923)
not FIFA regulated
Largest win
Flag_of_Gibraltar.svg Gibraltar 19 - 0 Sark Flag_of_Sark.svg
(Guernsey, Channel Islands; 29 June, 2003)
not FIFA regulated
Worst defeat
Sevilla FC 5 - 0 GibraltarFlag_of_Gibraltar.svg
(Spain; 18 April, 1923)
not FIFA regulated
Flag_of_Greenland.svgGreenland 5 - 0 Gibraltar Flag_of_Gibraltar.svg
(Isle of Wight, England; 6 July, 1993)
not FIFA regulated

In the 1997 edition, two wins and two losses in the group stage, followed by a defeat to Shetland in a playoff, saw Gibraltar finish 6th out of 9 teams. Another poor performance in 1999 saw them finish 11th.

Results improved slightly in 2001, as they came 5th, and in 2003 Gibraltar recorded their biggest win ever, defeating Sark 19-0. Other good results against Greenland and Orkney saw them finish 6th out of 12. Despite these minor successes, Gibraltar did not even enter the 2005 tournament.

FIFI Wild Cup In 2006 Gibraltar participated in the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup were it was ranked 3rd. In Gibraltar's opening match, they drew 1-1 with the hosts, the 'Republic of St. Pauli', before beating Tibet 5-0 in their second group game to qualify for the semi-finals. There they lost 2-0 to eventual champions Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In the third place playoff, Gibraltar had a rematch against St. Pauli. This time Gibraltar were able to defeat the hosts, to finish in third place out of the six teams.

See also

  • South Athletic Football Team (Gibraltar): One of the many Gibraltar football teams playing in the Rock during the early years of the 20th century.

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