Jersey's bid for Uefa membership rejected
THE Jersey FA’s application for Uefa membership has been overwhelmingly rejected by members at the European governing body’s ordinary congress.
After an emotion-fuelled speech from JFA president Phil Austin, and a reminder from Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin that his committee recommended the application be rejected, 49 of the 55 member nations voted against the proposal.
Iceland abstained, while five nations failed to register their votes. Not one member voted in favour of Jersey.
Prior to the ballot, Austin was given five minutes to address congress, and he used the time excellently to highlight Jersey’s political and legal independence. He also pointed out that Article 5 of Uefa’s statutes (relating to independence and the main stumbling block for Jersey’s bid) does not apply to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Gibraltar, or the Faroe Islands.
Austin also repeated one of Uefa’s core values ¬– ‘In everything we do, the first and most important element of any consideration must be football’, while he implored each nation to vote against the advice of the Uefa executive.
In his opening speech at the 42nd ordinary congress, Čeferin had stated 'football is for everyone'.
‘Since we started our journey together we have not been afraid to open the door to partners,' he said.
‘We have not been afraid to make reforms, even when it restricts our own powers, and we have not been afraid to initiate dialogue.
‘Football is for everyone everywhere. We are an association of association whose primary purpose is to promote football in Europe.’
However, when given his opportunity to comment on Jersey's bid for membership, the Slovenian was quick to remind members that the Island didn't comply with Article 5 – that members must be an independent nation in the eyes of the UN.
Members voted by raising either a green card to accept, red card to reject, or yellow card to abstain.