European ‘tour’ a possibility to lobby for Uefa membership
FOLLOWING the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling this week, Jersey Football Association officials are considering their next move.
On Thursday the Swiss courts [CAS] backed the JFA, after they had challenged the way their application to join Uefa was rejected.
Jersey’s initial bid for membership was refused by Uefa’s executive committee last year without formal consideration by its Congress but CAS have now ordered the application be forwarded to its 55 member nations. Uefa’s next Congress will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, in February but it is unclear if Jersey’s bid will be discussed at that stage.
Following the landmark decision for Island sport, Jersey FA officials must now drum up support from current members; a process which will require a sizable war chest. If they are to be accepted into the European élite, the largest Channel Island will require 28 countries (a majority) to vote in their favour.
JFA president Phil Austin says ‘one or two nations’ have ‘informally’ indicated they would support Jersey’s application but he expects to have to lobby for support in the coming months. And, although the JFA are yet to hear from Uefa, Austin hopes his association will be given enough time to prepare their case.
‘Clearly we have to take soundings as to what sort of support we would receive,’ he explained. ‘We spoke to Gibraltar a couple of years ago and when they were trying to become members they went on a European tour, lobbying for support.
‘It may be we have to do that but firstly we need to take some soundings to determine what support we’d get.
‘We have spoken to one or two [nations] who informally said they would support us. Now we have to turn that into reality with further discussions.’