Gibraltar to face England as the Rock is included in UEFA draws for the first time - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Gibraltar to face England as the Rock is included in UEFA draws for the first time

Friday, 7 December 2012
Gibraltar's national football and futsal teams have been included in UEFA competition draws for the first time, in a not so insignificant move towards gaining acceptance as a full UEFA member.

In a series of draws carried out at the FIFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland this week, Gibraltar were first paired with France, Montenegro and San Marino in Group A of the 2013/14 UEFA European Futsal Championship Preliminary Qualifiers before later drawn with an asterisk besides its name in an Under-17 pool with England, Ireland and Armenia, and an Under-19 group with the Czech Republic, Croatia and Cyprus.

Those international football fixtures will be played next October, in Armenia and the Czech Republic, only if Gibraltar is accepted as a full UEFA member by a majority of Europe's 53 official football nations when they vote next May at the 2013 UEFA Congress in London, the host city of that year’s Champions League Final.

Gibraltar was allowed in the draws because UEFA granted provisional member status in October at a meeting of the European football governing body's Executive Committee in Russia.

Spain has constantly called foul at Gibraltar’s applications for membership because it continues to claim sovereignty over the Rock. While the two teams were not drawn together this time around, it has not stopped one Gibraltarian blogger asking ‘is Gibraltar about to beat Spain at football?’.

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