Scotland’s cerebral palsy team withdrawn from World Championships

6 months ago admin 0

The Scottish cerebral palsy football team has a proud tradition, having been instrumental in the development of the sport and enjoying a high ranking as one of the world’s most competitive sides – Scotland is currently rated a creditable ninth in the international tables. Disappointment therefore greeted the news that the Scottish team would be withdrawn from the International Federation for Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) World Championships, which are to be held in Argentina later this year, by the country’s Football Association (FA).

Rationale

The stated rationale for the Scottish squad’s withdrawal is that the IFCPF has approved a regulation that would allow any UK passport holder to play for any of the so-called home nations (England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland), which the Scottish FA believes could ultimately undermine the country’s status as an independent football nation.

While saying that it understood and respected the FA’s reasoning, Scottish Disability Sport said that it was disappointed with the decision and would be working hard to ensure that the players would continue to receive training and support. The FA said that it was deeply saddened for the athletes who had been working so hard for the team and were looking forward to their Argentinian adventure, but that its decision was unavoidable and taken with Scotland’s best interests at heart.

Benefits of football

The benefits to everyone of being more active and getting involved in team sports are well established. Playing football enhances physical strength and fitness, of course, and the cooperation and teamwork involved promotes confidence and mental wellbeing. Football is one of the more inclusive and accessible sports, with teams and leagues suitable for all ages and abilities found across Scotland and the rest of the UK. It is also a relatively inexpensive game for participants, with cheap football team kits available from stockists such as https://www.kitking.co.uk. It is small wonder that the sport is embraced so enthusiastically by diverse groups up and down the country.

The key observation to be made is that the withdrawal from the World Championships does not signal a change in Scotland’s enthusiastic support for the game of football in general or for cerebral palsy football in particular. The country and its sporting institutions will continue to support the players, of whom it is immensely proud.