Sports Letters: One-team remedy

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The Independent Online
Sir: Steve Coppell quite rightly bemoans the 'two team' mentality in England when it comes to our teams playing overseas (8 November), but draws an amazingly short- sighted conclusion - that Irish, Scots and Welsh players be regarded as 'foreigners' at club level.

Following the disasters of England's World Cup qualifying campaign and Manchester United's untimely exit from the European Cup, is it not time we considered a national Great Britain side - as we have in rugby union - for the benefit of both our national and club football?

On the national side, what better than Gascoigne setting up Giggs to cross for McCoist to score? I was tempted to muse on how good it might have been to see an international team consisting upfront of Charlton, Law and Best, but logic suggests that an all-Ireland team would better serve the Irish, leaving the Scots, Welsh and English in a Great Britain, and not UK, side.

One of the benefits to the club game, of course, is that no longer would Welsh or Scots players be regarded by Uefa as foreign, and so United, for example, could have fielded Giggs, McClair et al without worrying about Schmeichel, Keane and Cantona's eligibility.

What next? A British super league to help prepare British teams for a European version? Come on, Mr Coppell - look to the future.

Yours faithfully,


Whitchurch, Hampshire

11 November