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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 14:26 GMT
Should Britain have a single national football team?

The British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has given his backing to the idea of creating a single UK football team.

Mr Straw said that a team unifying the English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh teams would give the UK a better chance of success in international tournaments.

The English and Scottish Football Associations have been critical of the plans, saying that Britain would lose influence in world football as each national association has its own vote in the ruling bodies UEFA and FIFA.

Would you support such a unified team? Would it be more succussful? Or would you be sad to see your national team disappear?

Why doesn't Jack Straw do what he's supposed to?

Kenneth, England
Why doesn't Jack Straw do what he's supposed to instead of saying that he would like this and that? He should get on with his work. Afterall the country is in a mess and football should be the last thing he's tackling at the moment. Besides who cares what he thinks?
Kenneth, England

Why not have done with it and have an EU team then we would win the World Cup almost every time?

A UK team would just be England with Ryan Giggs.
Steve Bush, England

As for a UK team, we already have one

Paul Williams, UK
A lot of people have suggested a "six nations" tournament. Have these people forgotten the home championship that used to be until the English FA decided that the home nations did not present a high enough challenge and pulled out? As for a UK team, we already have one. Whenever England lose at anything, it is a "British failure". When England win it's an "English Victory". Witness Euro 2000 and the "British Hooligans" not "English Hooligans".
Paul Williams, UK

In response to Colin from the Netherlands, I feel it is time that we stopped identifying ourselves with static and anachronistic ideals like nations or tribes. My own order of identity runs as me, my immediate circumstances and history, the human race, the whole of reality, God. Sure, that might seem a tad more abstract, but each of those things/ideas can be seen to relate directly to me - unlike nationhood, which doesn't.
James MacLaren, UK

I don't know why Mr Straw thinks a UK football team will fare any better. Since East and West Germany merged their national side has gone down the toilet.
Rod Maxwell, Scotland

One major draw back for Northern Ireland is that you would isolate 45% of its population

Damien, Ireland
One major draw back for Northern Ireland is that you would isolate 45% of its population by putting British anywhere they name of it. As it is the vast majority of Catholics would only support the Republic of Ireland football team.
Damien, Ireland

One of the major benefits of having separate football teams in Britain is when they play each other, as can be demonstrated by England vs Scotland. It strikes me that this proposal is another example of this government's obsession with pandering to politically correct issues.
Andrew, England

It will never happen, simply to appease political "inclusiveness". We know who we are and it's about time the English did as well. It would be a team made up of 90%+ English anyway.
Dylan, Wales

Why on earth would we want to join up with the other FA's when we are eventually going to have independence?
Neil, Work - Belgium/ Home - Scotland

I don't think having a UK football team will make a difference to English success

Tim, UK
I don't think having a UK football team will make a difference to English success. More players will suffer from the lack of international experience, and smaller associations such as Northern Ireland and Wales, will miss out on funds from UEFA/ FIFA etc. Also I can think of only 2 players who would be a benefit to England, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs. Apart from these 2 it's going to be the same English players as normal. Sorry, nice try Jack but it's back to the drawing board again.
Tim, UK

England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are the last teams formed by nations - not the state. Let it stay as is. It's more fun and joy with national, not countrywide teams in Britain.
Lukasz, Poland

In January, Jack Straw said that the English have a "propensity to violence" and had used it to "subjugate" Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Is it not hypocritical to now be stressing "I am English" and to press for a single British football team?
Max Hess, UK

I am in favour of a united national team. I hate football and it would mean less of it on TV.
David Heffron, UK

No, because then they would be known as F.C.U.K.
T.J. Cassidy, U.S.A.

And get rid of an excuse for rampant nationalism and all out prejudice? What would the tabloids do? They'd have to turn their attention to Johnny foreigner! Oh, they already do don't they ...
Chris C, UK

This debate seems to have been sparked because of comments being made about the UK's only success is in athletics. This statement is not only a gross overstatement, but totally incorrect! The UK leads the field in many sports. Did Mr Straw fail to watch the Olympics a few weeks ago? Cycling, Shooting, Judo, Rowing ... Any more wild unfounded statements to be made?
Mark Williams, UK

British teams might have some chance to win at football and would be stronger at rugby. Besides, there is a British Olympic team. Of course with devolution, Britishness seems less likely and I think it's time the English started to identify themselves. (English for me is anyone born in England, nothing to do with colour or religion). My order of identity is English, British, UK, European ...
Colin, Netherlands

I think it would be better for the British football teams to play in a regular 'six nations' style tournament as they hardly ever seem to get any practice playing as a team. I'm sure the TV rights, ticket sales, and merchandising opportunities would be enough to tempt the greedy players and clubs to allow this to happen.
Julian, UK

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