England Replace Expelled Spain At Euro 2008
Spain have been sensationally expelled from this summer’s European Championships due to political reasons, and have been replaced by England.
Several weeks ago Spain were warned by FIFA and UEFA that they risked suspension from international competition due to political interference in their FA’s elections.
Football’s main governing bodies were up in arms over the Spanish government's request for the (Real Federación Espańola de Fútbol) RFEF to conduct its elections prior to the Beijing Olympics, as all non-competing Spanish sports organisations must do.
The RFEF, however, has previously operated with four-year terms of administration, with the next election correctly slated for November.
Spain refused to take the threat from FIFA and UEFA seriously, and they have now paid the ultimate price by being thrown out of Euro 2008.
“We warned the Spanish government very clearly, through their Sports Council (CSD), that if they continue to interfere in footballing affairs that they will have to recognise that their national team will be excluded from international tournaments,” explained FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
“They have deliberately and completely ignored our warnings and so we are left with no choice but to pull them out from Euro 2008.”
Spain’s place at Austria and Switzerland has been taken by England, who are the highest ranked nation who did not qualify for the tournament.
“Spain have been replaced by England, due to the fact that they are the highest ranked nation not in the Euros,” stated Blatter.
“The football community welcome Fabio Capello’s squad, and we hope they will grasp this second-chance with both hands.”
England will be in Group D, alongside European Champions Greece, Sweden, and Russia, who ironically pipped them to qualification originally.
The Three Lions’ first game of the tournament will in fact be against Russia at the Tivoli-Neu Stadion in Innsbruck on June 10.
England will be hoping for a repeat of Euro 92’, when Denmark were entered into the tournament late in the day after Yugoslavia had also been thrown out due to political reasons.
Denmark went on to win the tournament, beating Germany in the final in Gothenburg 2-0.
The news has been met by delight by former England manager Graham Taylor, who was in charge during Euro 92.
"I believe we will win Euro 2008 now," said The Turnip.
"There is no team in that tournament who we should fear. You name me a team who boasts our talent. I am utterly convinced that we will return from Switzerland with the trophy."
April Fool, Goal.com