Jan 30 - PDP on the UEFA Bid

PDP GibraltarThe PDP is proud of the GFA’s futsal squad on its historic achievement at the UEFA Euro 2014 preliminaries for their 7-5 win against San Marino and for their best efforts against the other stronger teams of France and Montenegro. Congratulations and what a great way to set out on the road to full membership. It is unfortunate yet unsurprising that Spain has immediately announced again its intention to take whatever legal action necessary to block  Gibraltar’s membership.

We therefore welcome greatly the extremely positive strides made by the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) in becoming fully fledged UEFA members despite all the odds. The PDP offers its support in this endeavour and wishes the GFA the best of luck in the UEFA Congress where the GFA’s rightful place within the European football family will be decided on.

The PDP is also excited to know that both Gibraltar’s U19 and U17 squads will be competing against other European nations in their respective UEFA competitions. It is high time our developing players should be given this exposure to further their footballing dreams.

To this end, we commend the efforts by the Government and GSLA in resurfacing the Victoria Stadium with the FIFA 2 Star surface. This will undoubtedly improve the chances of Gibraltar gaining full UEFA membership as well as improving the safety and quality of the football played locally. However, it is also clear that the works should have started over the summer and that the delays in starting the season have seriously affected the amount of football being played locally, especially at such a crucial stage of our application. Gibraltar needs a greater amount of sporting facilities to cater for the overwhelming demand and the high proportion of Gibraltarians so actively involved in sport locally. We need to cater for the very large amount of young footballers who are so keen to play yet find it hard to join a team as a result of a restriction on the number of teams able to play within the leagues, due to the limited amount of facilities available. No youngster should be denied the right to their passion.

It is incredible that there are 46 teams registered with the GFA but that there is only access to what is essentially one and a half pitches for all these teams. This year has clearly shown how dire the situation is and how desperate the need is to have this situation resolved once and for all. The PDP understands the difficulties associated with the construction of the proposed UEFA Stadium but cannot understand why a temporary solution has not been made to cater for the need of Gibraltar’s many footballers. Especially, since the proposed, new stadium will come at a very low cost, due to the considerable investment proposed by UEFA for the creation of the proposed national stadium.