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The GFA and their international aspirations get written about in a book on Outcasts

Gibraltar applied to join FIFA in the late 1990s only for Spain to threaten to pull its national and club teams out of every international competition.

UEFA could not let that happen so they changed their entry criteria so that all new members had to be in the United Nations.

FIFA found a different reason and cited the 3,000 capacity Victoria Stadium, which is situated on an isthmus of land between the British colony and the Spanish border town of La Linea.

That isthmus also accommodates the territory’s airport, which opened to international flights from Spain for the first time in 2007. FIFA though, claim the stadium cannot host international football because the ownership has never been decided.

The pitch at the stadium is the only one in Gibraltar and used all-day long by schoolchildren then the local leagues so the Gibraltar Football Association laid an artificial surface years ago. Bizarrely, that third generation pitch is a FIFA approved playing surface.

This was done years ago through the English FA as the GFA was an affiliate until falling out with the motherland as the row with FIFA and UEFA over membership progressed.

At least Gibraltar has a stadium as many of the lands that FIFA has forgotten cannot even play at home.

In Monaco, the amateur national side is not allowed to play in the 20,000 capacity Stade Louis II stadium, which is home to the only club in Monaco, ASM.

ASM compete in the French league and the government is concerned that if the Fédération Monégasque de Football joined UEFA then ASM may have to leave the French league so the FMF are tacitly accepted but officially unrecognized.

And if Monaco’s national team did play a match at the Stade Louis II stadium against the likes of Northern Cyprus, then ASM could face sanctions from FIFA.

In 2006, the TRNC journeyed to southern France to take on a side representing speakers of the ancient language of Occitània in a run-down council stadium in Vendargues as this was the only ground that could host the tie without FIFA sanctions.

That is also why the 5,000 capacity Vanlose Stadium in Denmark hosted Tibet’s first match in 2001.

A team of exiled players from the Himalayan kingdom, which was invaded by China in 1950, journeyed to Copenhagen to take on Greenland but no clubs would host the game for fear of FIFA sanctions.

The Greenlanders have even more problems playing as the season in their Arctic island is just three months long and all the pitches are sand. As a result, all Greenland’s international matches are away games but the Greenlandic FA are aiming to change that situation.

Rejected by FIFA in the late 1990s, Greenland hope to lay an artificial surface and host a four-team tournament as part of a campaign to encourage tourists to the island.

Greenland is semi-autonomous from Denmark but the cost of laying the pitch would be four times more than in Western Europe with only one air route between Copenhagen and Nuuk.

Despite this, the Greenlanders are confident of laying the surface to host a four-team event in three to four years time then adding stands later on. Greenland want to show that being forgotten by FIFA is no obstacle to playing international football.

"Outcasts!", which was shortlisted for the National Sporting Club football book of the year award in 2008 and is published by Know The Score Books.

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