Jersey FA hope Fifa visit leads to more international football

Phil Austin
Austin also remains open to the formation of a Jersey FC team

Jersey Football Association president Phil Austin has revealed a Fifa representative has visited the island.

However, Austin admitted joining football's world governing body still remains unlikely for Jersey.

The island is a member of the English FA and compete in friendlies as a non-Fifa national team.

"It is a closed door at the moment but if it ever opens we have got to be ready to step through it," he told BBC Radio Jersey.

"That is a legitimate avenue for us to pursue."

In May 2013 Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory off the south coast of Spain, was accepted as a full member of Uefa, European football's governing body.

Jersey FA president Phil Austin on Fifa visit:
"It was important to get Fifa over here and to show them our football and they were hugely impressed, the representative went away saying we want to help you."

The GFA played their first competitive match against Poland on 7 September in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

However, Jersey cannot follow Gibraltar down the route of joining Uefa or Fifa as the rules over applications have changed - since 2002 countries must be sovereign states recognised by the United Nations to join Uefa, a rule which was not in place when Gibraltar originally applied for membership in 1997.

"The major stumbling block is that Jersey is not seen as an independent country as recognised by the United Nations," added Austin.

"I am not sure we can get round that immediately but neither were Gibraltar who have recently joined Uefa.

"It was important to get Fifa over here and to show them our football and they were hugely impressed, the representative went away saying we want to help you."

Currently, Jersey compete in the Channel Islands' annual Muratti Vase and play very few friendly matches.

on Tuesday.

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