alt A Welsh politician claimed today the country's independence to compete in events like the World Cup and European Championships could have been jeopardised by the decision to allow a British team in 2012.


Lesley Griffiths, a Labour Welsh Assembly Member for Wrexham, warned that the arrangement between the four Home Country Football Associations to allow teams of English players to represent Britain at the London Olympics still contains real and genuine risks for the independent status of Welsh football at an international level in the future.


She said: “I have consistently and publicly opposed Wales’ participation in Team GB, on the grounds that it could jeopardise the independence of the FAW (Football Association of Wales) within both FIFA and UEFA.


"I still believe that to be the case.


“I have been contacted by many of my constituents, as well as receiving letters from people from all over Wales opposing the Team GB concept over recent months.


"I am yet to be contacted by anyone who wants Wales to take part in this project.


“Whilst I respect and understand the reasons behind the decision of the FAW, I remain very nervous about the impact this could have on Wales’ future status within world football."


Griffiths, a keen Wrexham supporter, said: “There has been a relentless and unacceptable level of external political pressure on Wales to take part in Team GB - pressure which will have consequences long after the 2012 flame has been extinguished.


“This so-called agreement sends completely the wrong signal to those nations who oppose the fact that four countries from these islands play as separate entities at an international level.


"That’s why I believe, in the long term, Welsh football will rue the day this decision was made.”