The Scotland Cerebral Palsy team has withdrawn from the 2017 Cerebral Palsy World Championships following a change in eligibility rules by the governing body, the IFCPF.
The rule change allows for any player possessing a British passport to represent any of the home nations. This could potentially result in all home nations teams becoming mixed British teams, akin to club teams.
The Scottish FA believes that continued participation in IFCPF competitions would therefore potentially jeopardise Scotland’s status as an independent football nation.
As a result of the rule change the Scottish FA has withdrawn from all IFCPF competitions, including the forthcoming Cerebral Palsy World Championships in Argentina
Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “It is extremely regrettable that despite our appeals the IFCPF has chosen to enforce this rule change, which we believe would have a detrimental effect on Scotland’s status as an independent football nation.
“We have taken every possible action in an attempt to allow the team to compete but have determined that the new rule leaves us with no option other than to withdraw from all IFCPF competitions, including the World Championships, with immediate effect.”
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the players who were set to represent their country on the world stage later this year. This is a disappointing outcome to what has been a successful journey for the Scotland CP team, of whom the entire country can be proud.”
Scotland has a proud history of involvement in Cerebral Palsy Football and has played a significant role in the growth of the sport.
The Scotland Cerebral Palsy National Team has regularly competed in IFCPF competitions since the European Championships in 2006.
Scotland hosted the first Cerebral Palsy international match in Edinburgh in 1978, the first Regional Championship in Glasgow in 1985, the European Championships in Glasgow in 2010, and competed in the inaugural under-19 World Championships in Nottingham 2015.