British Olympic Association & Scottish FA tussle over Team GB tweet

It’s been a rather bizarre day for followers of British sports on Twitter today. This afternoon the British Olympic Association (BOA for short) announced that it had come to a “historic” agreement with the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) regarding the formation of a Team GB (Team Great Britain) for the London 2012 Olympics. This came as huge shock to most, particularly as both the Scottish FAand Welsh FA have publicly stated in the past that there were not interested in a unified Olympics team for the fear that FIFA may use it as a precedent and force them to merge their footballing bodies with the far more larger and influential English FA.

No sooner had this announcement on Twitter shocked everybody, had the Scottish FA responded first via Twitter that there was in fact,!/Scottish_FA/status/83180793660321792

This was later clarified in an official statement by SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan.

What is particularly interesting for this story, especially from a sports social media perspective, is the fact that huge sporting international institutes such as the SFA have heard such a crucial story via Twitter (not by phone or through official channels), and then have been comfortable enough to instantly respond to controversy. Very much like the recent scandals within FIFA, this kind of international diplomacy is fascinating to watch. Yet again social media (Twitter in this example) has given us a rare insight into the very political nature of sport.

At the minute the BOA (and the FA) have both kept very quiet despite public complaints from both the Scottish and Welsh football associations.

Sean Walsh

Founder of and leading Football Social Media expert.

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