May 24 - Government welcomes GFA's admission to UEFA

GFA admission to UEFAThe Government welcomes the admission of the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) into UEFA.

This will provide a huge boost to the development of football locally.

Gibraltar has one of the oldest football associations in the world and it is very fitting that they will finally be able to take their place alongside the rest of the European family of footballing nations.

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, said:

"Today is a historic day for sport in Gibraltar. All of Gibraltar will be filled with joy at the GFA's success. Most of us will remember forever where we were when we heard this decision come through. The decision by UEFA members to admit Gibraltar into the European football family of nations is long overdue. When sports and politics are mixed they produce a toxic cocktail that should be avoided. And today UEFA have looked beyond those who would bring politics into European sport to reach the right conclusion for UEFA, for football, the GFA and for Gibraltar. I now call upon my fellow Gibraltarians to celebrate this decision responsibly at Casemates and in keeping with the principle that this is about sport and only about sport and not politics.

Next week the Government will announce details of a celebration that will enable the whole Community to show our full support to the GFA and all those who have worked so hard to achieve this magnificent result, in particular Michael Llamas QC who led the legal action in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia, said:

"The GFA have done Gibraltar proud. It has been a long and difficult struggle but the GFA got there in the end. They have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and have been impeccable ambassadors for the sport and for Gibraltar. The Government would like to thank past and present members of the GFA committee who have all played a part in contributing towards today’s positive outcome. The only winner from all this will be football itself.”

The Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares said:

“Gibraltar has waited for many years for the good news of our admission into UEFA. There is no doubt that membership of UEFA will provide a huge boost to football in Gibraltar and this will be seen among the younger generation of Gibraltarians who will now have the opportunity to pitch their skills against those of their European counterparts.”