The British Olympic Association, BOA, has recently said that a “historic agreement” has been reached with the English Football Association over fielding teams at the 2012 Games.

Unfortunately the Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland know nothing about the alleged agreement.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reacted angrily to claims that their players could take part in a united Great Britain football team and a collective statement from these three  nations denied this was the case.

“No discussions took place with any of us, far less has any historic agreement been reached,” it said.

“The Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reiterate our collective opposition to Team GB participation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, contrary to the media release issued by the BOA.

“We have been consistently clear in explaining the reason for our stance, principally to protect the identity of each national association.

With that in mind, we cannot support nor formally endorse the approach that has been proposed by the Football Association.”

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan, Football Association of Wales Chief Executive Jonathan Ford and Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson all signed the joint statement.

For athletes in every other sport, except football, the Olympic Games are the most important world sporting event every four years. Winning the Olympic Gold Medal in swimming, wrestling or badminton is the highest honour in that particular sport.

In football, however, the top prize is winning the FIFA World Cup. Only underage teams take part in the Olympics.

Football fans always know the teams which have won the FIFA World Cup.

How many fans know which team won the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament? It was actually Argentina with a team which included Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.

This issue goes to the very heart of the structure of football in Great Britain.

The four British associations have a privileged place in world football by having separate identities in UEFA and FIFA although they are all politically part of the United Kingdom.

They are however the founder members of the International Football Association Board, which since 1886 have been responsible for the Laws of the Game, and this gives them a special status.

Another special circumstance is that the British Associations have a FIFA Vice President who is elected for a four year term by the FA, IFA, SFA and FAW.

It is highly unlikely, no impossible, that the Football Association would ever be integrated in to a British FA with one vote in FIFA and a limited number of representatives in the major UEFA competitions.

The FA’s status in European football is too strong for that ever to happen.

In the unstable world of football politics however, these become real threats.

Who would have thought four weeks ago that the Presidents of CONCACAF and AFC would now be suspended by FIFA from all football involvement pending an enquiry by the FIFA Ethics Committee?

The SFA, IFA and FAW are wise to be suspicious of the intrigues of world football today.

The associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales must resist the Trojan Horse of Olympic representation.

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