Rock on! Gibraltar become Uefa memeber - but will be kept apart from Spain during qualification for Euro 2016

 

Gibraltar and Spain will be kept apart when the qualifying draw is made for Euro 2016 after Uefa added the fixture to a shortlist of matches that Europe’s governing body seeks to avoid at  all costs.

Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory with a population of 29,000 – half the size of Torquay – yesterday became a full member of Uefa and will play their first competitive fixture next year when qualifying begins for Euro 2016, which takes place in France.

Spain, which still claims sovereignty over Gibraltar, has long opposed the territory’s bid for membership but could do nothing to bar their acceptance into the Uefa fold yesterday. After being refused membership six years ago Gibraltar took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who judged that they were entitled to full membership, meaning yesterday’s congress of the 53 national associations had little choice but to add one to their number.

Spain and Gibraltar, which has 650 registered players, join Azerbaijan and Armenia and Russia and Georgia on Uefa’s list of opponents that have to be kept apart for non-footballing reasons.

Uefa’s congress also approved an 11-point plan to combat racism, the headline of which is the 10-game ban for any player found to have racially abused an opponent during a Uefa-run fixture. The resolution that was passed also called on all national associations to follow suit but the Football Association’s decision to introduce a minimum five-game ban will remain unchanged.

The FA’s decision to use five games as a starting point – rising to a life ban for repeat offenders – is set to be backed by Fifa, whose own task force on racism is to propose a five-game ban at next week’s congress in Mauritius. “I don’t feel we need vindication,” said David Bernstein, the FA chairman. “I feel the position we’ve got is an absolute sensible one. It stands perfectly well alongside Uefa. We are not comparing like with like – Uefa are legislating for their competitions. We are legislating right across English football from the grass roots up.

“Remember Fifa are the world governing body – if Fifa legislate for something then we would need to follow that very, very carefully.”

Meanwhile, England’s new Uefa executive committee member David Gill expects tonight’s Champions League final at Wembley to be the perfect showcase for the bid to host the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final.

Gill, who is standing down as Manchester United chief executive after 10 years, was elected unopposed at Uefa’s Congress in London yesterday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy