Belfast Telegraph

Welsh fans get shirty over Bale

The chairman of the Football Supporters Federation Cymru has criticised the use of Wales midfielder Gareth Bale to promote Team GB.

Vince Alm believes that using a photograph of the Tottenham midfielder posing in a British football team shirt is another step towards the Football Associations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland losing their international identity.

The three home nations are opposed to their players being part of the British team at the London 2012 Olympics, but Bale has already stated his intention to play.

“We're against Team GB,” said Alm. “We think it's the thin end of the wedge for FIFA to take away the four home nations' power base.

“I can understand why Gareth has done it. We are Welsh and we are British.

“The main issue we have is with losing our international |identity.

“The majority of Welsh supporters are against it. You can get away with the England and Wales cricket board, you can get away with it with rugby, but football is totally different.

“This could be the end of the home unions and I think that would be sad.”

Bale's decision to be the first player to pose in the new shirt is controversial and FA of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford was remaining firm on the issue.

“Our position remains unchanged,” he said.

“We are not for Team GB. Gareth can make his own choices and make his own decisions, but we are not going to stop anyone playing.”

Belfast Telegraph

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