Drawbacks to breaking from English Football Association

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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There could be many disadvantages for Manx footballers if the island broke away from the English FA to allow it compete in the World Cup.

Chief Minister Allan Bell made the point in the House of Keys as he heralded recent successes of both the Isle of Man national football team and the Ellan Vannin squad.

Peter Karran (Lib Van, Onchan) asked him to revisit his Tynwald motion from 2007 which called for a select committee to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Football Association for the Isle of Man, independent of the English FA, and a member in its own right of the international bodies.

In a similar vein, Richard Ronan (Castletown) asked the Chief Minister: ‘Does he think one day the Isle of Man FA could follow in the footsteps of the likes of the Faroe Islands, Lichtenstein and San Marino, and enter the FIFA World Cup?’

Mr Bell replied: ‘There are many hurdles to overcome, including achieving Isle of Man FA support for such a move. There are many disadvantages in loss of training facilities and other financial support which would occur.’

The Manx International Football Alliance said it had neither instigated or considered applying for UEFA membership. It said was not a competitor of the IOMFA and had been established to allow players to represent Ellan Vannin internationally.

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