Author Topic: Time to end European anomaly  (Read 1113 times)

Offline David

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Time to end European anomaly
« on: November 07, 2007, 09:52:20 PM »
FIRST we had the situation of Cardiff Ladies FC, playing against Arsenal and co in the English system yet able to represent Wales in the women’s Uefa Cup via the Welsh Cup.

Cardiff Ladies can do it. Cardiff City’s men cannot.

Today (on page 42) we have highlighted the situation of TNS playing their home games in England and being claimed by the Shropshire FA as one of their clubs, yet able to represent Wales in the Uefa Champions League.

What will fans of the Bluebirds, Swansea and Wrexham, not to mention Merthyr, Newport and Colwyn Bay, make of that one?

Their teams are still barred from the Welsh Cup, still barred from any avenue into Europe and still no closer to getting back in.

Yet there are two clear anomalies there, with Cardiff Ladies and TNS, which FAW powerbrokers can use, should they so wish, to try to fight for European justice for our “big three”.

I take nothing away from the achievements of either Cardiff Ladies or TNS. The women won the Welsh Cup and deserved their crack at Europe.

Good luck to them.

TNS have been fantastic flagbearers for the Welsh Premier and, if more sides showed the vision and dynamism of their owner Mike Harris, the much-criticised league would be a darned sight better off.

Good luck to TNS too.

However, the fact is that TNS play four miles across the border in an English town.

Cardiff, to the best of my knowledge, was still the capital city of Wales. Swansea was also still in Wales, so too Wrexham, Merthyr, Newport and Colwyn Bay.

Yet, because they play in the English system, unlike TNS, they don’t seem to be perceived as Welsh enough to play in the Welsh Cup.

And, even if you accept the FAW and Uefa are right not to let them in, how can Cardiff Ladies play in the English system and also the Welsh Cup, whereas the men of the Bluebirds, Swans and Red Dragons cannot?

I know this is an old chestnut of mine. But it is one which gets odder and odder and odder every year.