It has always struck me that people who say ‘you should never bring politics into sport’ say so only when the politics does not match their own. It’s apparently why pro-UK politicians view it as perfectly natural to scream blue murder in support of a Welsh national rugby team (and would probably seek to commit murder if it was ended) but have a go at anyone who dares question Team GB’s football team.
Imagine if FIFA run rugby and said that if the next British Lions tour takes place, then the WRU might lose the national rugby team? You would see pro-UK politicians line up to defend the WRU, it’s ‘our national game’ and FIFA are not to be trusted.
But apparently if the football association of Wales says that they are worried that if Team GB plays, it might lose its international status, then it’s ‘bringing politics into it’. Incredibly the captain of the Welsh side, Aaron Ramsey is due to go ahead in play in a team that might mean the end of the Welsh side. Imagine if Sam Warburton was due to play for a side that threatens the future of the Welsh national rugby team?
I will hold my hands up, I want a Welsh team at the Olympics as any other independent nation should be allowed. But in the meantime I am happy to lend my support to the British athletes and fully cheer on the Welsh ones. But Dai Greene running in a British vest doesn’t mean that a Welsh team might disappear. Dai Greene winning a gold medal in the Olympics is the pinnacle of his sport; it’s not such a pinnacle of a sport when a team decided the best over 23 players they have are David Beckham and Ryan Giggs.
To return my point, the people telling you that ‘you should never bring politics into sport’ are playing you for fools. They are playing politics and hoping they can hide it from you. Their politics means that being pro-UK is more important than having a national team in football and anyone complaining about that is a party pooper or a nationalist.
I am against Team GB because it threatens the future of the Welsh national team, a team that has given me some of the greatest nights as a spectator and some of the worst. But even during the hard times, at least it is there.