Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Basques would be like Gib with Ibarretxe plan, says expert

Ibarretxe Government plans for secession from Spain would leave the Basque Country with the same status as Gibraltar in terms of sporting participation, Alberto Palomar a Spanish legal expert specialised in sporting issues and a former consultant to the Consejo Superior de Deportes said yesterday in an interview with the Madrid sports daily As.

Sr Palomar said implementation of the Ibarretxe plan would affect the participation by Basque clubs in Spanish sporting competitions since all powers relating to sporting activities would be exclusively in the hands of the Basque government. These clubs could be invited to participate but other non-Basque clubs could object to this system.

Sr Palomar said the Ibarretxe plan would leave the Basque Country in a similar situation to Gibraltar although special rules exist that can be applied if the will to do so exists, quoting the example of clubs in Andorra that have been able to participate in Spain’s elite basketball league ACB. Sr Palomar added that FIFA will only recognise states that are recognised by the international community, chiefly through acceptance by the United Nations. In the case of the Basques would have to be authorised by the European Union.

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