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Brown poses Team GB alternative

Scotland players
Brown believes Scotland's footballing independence is under threat

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown wants all four home nations to be represented separately in the 2012 Olympic football tournament.

Brown is fronting a 'No To Team GB' petition within Scottish football.

"There is a forthcoming Fifa meeting and, if they realise this is not going to happen, they may reassess the football in the Olympics," he said.

"It would be great if they said 'we'll invite you all to take part, each country, since it's based in the UK'."

It has also been suggested that the home nations take part in a play-off competition, with the winning country going on to represent Great Britain at London 2012.

But 68-year-old Brown, who helped launch the petition at Hampden on Sunday, does not consider a play-off tournament to be a viable option.

I strongly suspect that Fifa would like to streamline their operation a bit more. One way of doing it would be to get rid of four and make it one with GB

Craig Brown

"That's far too much football for the best players," said Brown.

"And then they could say 'right, have a play-off for the European Championships, have a play-off for the World Cup' and only one of the four home nations would go."

Fifa has assured the UK Government that a unified British team would not threaten the independence of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

But Brown, who was the last manager to take Scotland to the finals of a major tournament, remains unconvinced of such guarantees.

"I'm a very patriotic Scot and I want to retain the autonomy of the Scottish national team," added Brown.

"I don't want it to be diluted in any way through a combination of other countries.

"Although we've got assurances now from Fifa that they won't combine them permanently, in the future that decision of the present Fifa board won't be binding.

"The Scottish national team could disappear altogether and that is horrendous.

"There are 208 countries in Fifa. I strongly suspect that Fifa would like to streamline their operation a bit more, reduce the number and one way of doing it would be to get rid of four and make it one with GB. We don't want that."

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see also
Brown leads anti-Team GB campaign
12 Dec 08 |  Internationals
Fifa says Team GB 'poses no risk'
12 Nov 08 |  Scotland
Olympic football play-offs call
09 Nov 08 |  Scotland


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