Jersey's FA still hoping for international football status

Jersey's football team
Jersey's men were beaten by the isle of man at last month's Island Games

The head of Jersey's Football Association says it is still working to try to get the island accepted as an international football nation.

It has not stopped courting Fifa and Uefa, despite a 2002 ruling that new members must be recognised as sovereign nations by the United Nations.

Jersey is a county within the English Football Association.

"We'd like to go down the international route and that's an avenue we're currently pursuing," said Phil Austin.

"It's very early days, we're doing a lot of research and talking to people, but that's the direction we see the JFA taking football," he added to BBC Radio Jersey.

Other 'non-nations' playing international football
Gibraltar - a British Overseas TerritoryAnguilla - a British Overseas Territory
Faroe Islands - a self-governing country within DenmarkAruba - an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Bermuda - a British Overseas TerritoryMontserrat - a British Overseas Territory
Puerto Rico - a self-governing Commonwealth that belongs to the United StatesNew Caledonia - a French overseas territory

Jersey is a crown dependency, meaning it is part of the British Isles but not the UK. The Queen is its head of state but Jersey has its own government, similar to Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The island is already recognised as a nation in its own right at cricket, and made the final qualifying tournament for the World Twenty20 last month.

In May 2013 Gibraltar, which is a British Overseas Territory, was accepted as a full member of Uefa, European football's governing body, but their application followed an original application in 1997 when the rules were different.

Austin says he has a four-year plan for the Jersey FA, with international recognition playing a part in it.

"We'll make some progress in terms of trying to formalise an application to one of the international bodies," he said.

"Definitely over the four years we see some progress there - whether we get the result we're looking for within that timescale remains to be seen.

"Gibraltar getting into Uefa in recent times after an 11-year legal challenge did open the door a little bit.

"We're just exploring with people what the possibilities are. There is no clear entry path, let me make that clear, but we are exploring any possible avenues."

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