Gibraltar’s footballing story, which has received coverage across the world in recent months, was the subject of a feature in Brazilian newspaper Lancenet.
The original article, which can be viewed here, has also been kindly translated by Brazilian journalist, and Sky Sports correspondent Paulo Freitas. It includes quotes from Gibraltar Chronicle journalist John Shephard.
” Get to know Gibraltar, the newest European national team
A small peninsula in Southern Spain under English control will play their first official competition, the 2016 European Qualifiers,
A small peninsula in Southern Spain, with a population of 30,000 people, will try to qualify for the 2016 European Championship, which will take place in France. The place called Gibraltar, a small piece of land under British control since 1713.
It was recognized by UEFA only May last year and although it’s not affiliated to FIFA, Gibraltar’s national team are in Group D, they will face Georgia and traditional teams such as Germany, Ireland, Poland and Scotland.
Allen Bula, the Gibraltar manager celebrated: “We are finally here, it might sound a bit surreal but it’s the reality, being able to play against Germany is one of the best things that could have happened to us, everyone will keep an eye on us.”
The new member of UEFA was involved in a curious event during the Qualifiers draw, Gibraltar were drawn in the same group as Spain, but due to the Spanish history of conflicts with the peninsula, UEFA decided to move the new national team (Gibraltar) to another group.
John Shepard, editor of the ‘Gibraltar Chronicle’ explained: “There wouldn’t have been any problem, people from both sides of the border have good relations here, the problems are caused mainly by the politicians.”
Gibraltar didn’t do poorly in their first official game, in November 2013 they tied 0-0 with Slovakia, a team that played the 2010 World Cup. The team will face the Faroes Islands on Saturday, and Estonia next Wednesday, both on official FIFA dates.
The manager [Allen Bula] said: “We have to show Europe that we deserve to be here, it will be a tough job but I hope we can get some points.”
With the word
Editor of the Gibraltar Chronicle (GIB)
We mix technique with strength
Although our league is amateur, we have a team with good players, we love Brazilian football and we try to mix technique with the strength of English style. I hope the visibility our football we have now will help the teams attract sponsors, Gibraltar will have a big challenge from now on.
With the word
Professor of International Politics
Gibraltar is the gate of the Mediterranean
You just need to look at the map to find out about the strategic importance of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean is the commercial heart of Europe and that means to the British that they have to keep controlling its gate. Spain, on the other hand, want to take Gilbaltar again because of this commercial route and thus control the flow of ships into the Mediterranean.
Population: 29,431 people
Área: 6.8 Km²
Currency: British pound
Spain ceded the control of Gibraltar to the UK for a non-determined period, through the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
When Francisco Franco ruled Spain between 1939 and 1976, the land access to the peninsula was closed, it was only opened again in 1985.
Voting took place twice, in 1967 and 2002, to determine the sovereign of Gibraltar. The population chose to remain under British control.
You can follow Paulo on Twitter, via @cynegeticus