Flag of Gibraltar
The flag of Gibraltar is an elongated banner of arms based on the coat of arms of Gibraltar, granted by Royal Warrant from Queen Isabella I of Castile on 10 July 1502. "An escutcheon on which the upper two thirds shall be a white field and on the said field set a red castle, below the said castle, on the other third of the escutcheon, which must be a red field in which there must be a white line between the castle and the said red field, there shall be a golden key which hangs by a chain from the said castle, as are here figured". The flag was regularised in 1982 and is formed by two horizontal bands of white and red with a three-towered red castle in the centre of the white band; the flag differs from that of other British overseas territories, in that it is not a British ensign. The castle does not resemble any in Gibraltar, but is supposed to represent the fortress of Gibraltar; the key is said to symbolise the fortress' significance as Gibraltar was seen to be the key to Spain by the Moors and Spanish and as the key to the Mediterranean by the British.
The flag is flown throughout Gibraltar, sometimes alongside the Union Flag and flag of Europe. Prominent places which fly the flag include the frontier with Spain, at the top of The Rock and on the Parliament Building; the flag is a symbol of Gibraltarian nationalism, is popular among Gibraltarians. For the Gibraltar National Day, many Gibraltar homes and offices hang the flag from their windows and balconies, some individuals wear and dress their vehicles with the flag for national day celebrations; this was seen during the 2004 celebrations of the tercentenary of British Gibraltar. Gibraltarian students attending university abroad have been known to take Gibraltarian flags with them, putting them up in university accommodation rooms and hanging them from windows. A Lego flag of Gibraltar 4 metres high and 8 metres long can be seen at the John Mackintosh Hall, a cultural centre housing the public library as well as exhibition rooms and a theatre. At the time of its construction, the Lego flag of Gibraltar was the largest flag to be made from Lego bricks with a total of 393,857 bricks being used.
List of flags of Gibraltar List of British flags List of coats of arms of the United Kingdom and dependencies Gibraltar at Flags of the World Gibraltar Government Website Information On Flag
Gibraltar national football team
The Gibraltar national football team represents Gibraltar in football competitions and is controlled by the Gibraltar Football Association. Gibraltar applied for full UEFA membership and was accepted by the UEFA Congress in May 2013 and can therefore compete in the UEFA European Championship beginning with the 2016 tournament for which the team has been competing in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group D. On 13 May 2016 Gibraltar became a member of FIFA at the governing body's 66th Congress, held in Mexico City. Gibraltar is the smallest UEFA member in terms of both population. Despite not being an island, Gibraltar set up its first official side for the football competition at the 1993 Island Games and has been a regular in the tournament, winning the 2007 edition. Gibraltar's first unofficial national match took place against Jersey in the 1993 Island Games in the Isle of Wight, although the team had played friendlies versus professional and amateur clubs; the result was a 2–1 loss for the Gibraltarians.
Gibraltar's largest unofficial win was 19–0 versus Sark, in St. Martin, whilst their largest unofficial loss was 5–0 versus Greenland – an autonomous region of Denmark – which took part on the Isle of Wight, in Freshwater; the history of the Gibraltarian national football side can be traced back to April 1923, when it travelled to Spain to play club side Sevilla in a friendly. The side managed a draw with Real Madrid in 1949. Before joining UEFA, Gibraltar competed in numerous football competitions, most in the Island Games; the first competition the team entered was the 1993 Island Games, despite Gibraltar not being an island. Gibraltar lost all of its matches, finishing in last place, they had much more success in the 1995 Island Games. Despite losing their opening game against Greenland, Gibraltar bounced back to record their first competitive win, against the Isle of Man. Another victory over Anglesey saw Gibraltar finish second in the group, ahead of Anglesey only on goal difference, qualify for the semi finals.
There, they beat Jersey 1–0, before losing the final to the Isle of Wight by the same scoreline. In the 1997 Island Games, two wins and two losses in the group stage, followed by a defeat to Shetland in a playoff, saw Gibraltar finish 6th out of 9 teams. Another poor performance in 1999 saw. Island Games results improved in 2001, as they came 5th, in 2003 Gibraltar recorded their biggest win defeating Sark 19–0. Other good results against Greenland and Orkney saw them finish 6th out of 12. Despite these minor successes, Gibraltar did not enter the 2005 tournament. A football team represented Gibraltar at the 2015 edition of the games after Gibraltar was accepted by UEFA. However, the squad was a development team composed of under-19s and over-aged players with no first team senior squad members taking part; the team will be coached by John Moreno. * Gold background colour indicates. Red border colour indicates. In early summer 2006 Gibraltar participated in the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup; the tournament was an alternative World Cup for non-FIFA members, only held once.
In Gibraltar's opening match, they drew 1–1 with the hosts, the'Republic of St. Pauli', before beating Tibet 5–0 in their second group game to qualify for the semi-finals. There they lost 2–0 to eventual champions Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - following Gibraltar's games against Cyprus in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification games in 2017, Gibraltar achieved a rare feat of playing both Cypriot national teams. In the third place playoff, Gibraltar had a rematch against St. Pauli; this time Gibraltar were able to defeat the hosts. In 2008 Gibraltar accepted an invitation to participate in The Four Nations Tournament, the most prominent senior football tournament that Gibraltar had participated in; the 2008 Four Nations Tournament, won by England C, was played in North Wales, was contested between Wales Semi-Pro, England C, Scotland B and guest nation Gibraltar after Northern Ireland decided not to take part. Though Gibraltar finished bottom of the group, they pushed tournament winners England C close.
Football at the Island Games:Winners: 2007 Runners-up: 1995 After becoming a member of UEFA, the GFA aimed to become a full FIFA member in time to participate in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. On 26 September 2014, it was announced that Gibraltar's application for FIFA membership was denied, with president Sepp Blatter stating that Gibraltar is ineligible because it is not an independent country; this was despite FIFA at the time including 22 members that are not independent countries, including five in UEFA. The Gibraltar Football Association announced that it planned to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the same process by which Gibraltar gained UEFA membership in 2013; the CAS heard Gibraltar's case on 21 May 2015. At which time no time frame for a verdict was announced and further legal arguments would still be heard, it was expected that no decision would be reached before the FIFA congress coming the following week. A ruling was announced on 2 May 2016; as part of the ruling, FIFA was ordered to transmit Gibraltar's application for membership to the FIFA congress, set to take place the following week in Mexico City.
Additionally, FIFA was ordered to take "all necessary steps to admit the Gibraltar Football Association as a full member of FIFA without delay." If the vote held at the congr
Emigration from Malta
Emigration from Malta was an important demographic phenomenon throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, leading to the creation of large Maltese communities in English-speaking countries abroad. Mass emigration picked up in the 19th century, reaching its peak in the decades after World War II. Migration was to north African countries. There is little trace left of the Maltese communities in north Africa, most of them having been displaced, after the rise of independence movements, to places like Marseille, the United Kingdom or Australia. Malta has always been a maritime nation, for centuries, there has been extensive interaction between Maltese sailors and fishermen and their counterparts around the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic Ocean. More by the mid-19th century the Maltese had a long history of migration to various places, including Egypt, Tunisia, Cyprus, the Ionian Islands, Greece and Lampedusa. Intermarriage with other nationals was not uncommon. Migrants would periodically return to Malta, bringing with them new customs and traditions that over time have been absorbed into mainstream Maltese culture.
In 1842, the total number of Maltese emigrants was estimated at around 20,000, or 15 percent of the population of Malta. These numbers increased throughout the 19th century. However, these early migration patterns were unstable, repatriation occurred frequently. For example, many Maltese emigrants rushed back to their homeland due to an outbreak of plague in Egypt in 1835, again in 1840 during the Anglo-Egyptian crisis. According to Pullicino: in spite of a certain amount of isolation there must have been a measure of adaptation by Maltese emigrants to local customs and dress. Besides, the frequent comings and goings of the Maltese in the 19th century must have facilitated the assimilation of at least some folklore material from North Africa that still needs to be identified. In the nineteenth century, most migration from Malta was to North Africa and the Middle East, although rates of return migration to Malta were high. Nonetheless, Maltese communities formed in these regions. By 1900, for example, British consular estimates suggest.
There is little trace left of the Maltese communities in North Africa, most of them having been displaced, after the rise of independence movements, to places like Marseille, the United Kingdom or Australia. In the years preceding Tunisia's declaration of independence in 1956, most of the Maltese community left the country to settle in Marseille, which retains the biggest Maltese community in France. Malta experienced significant emigration as a result of the collapse of a construction boom in 1907 and after World War II, when the birth rate increased but in the twentieth century most emigrants went to destinations in the New World the United States and Australia. There was heavy migration from Malta in the early 20th century, again after World War II until the early 1980s. Over 10,000 Maltese settled in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States between 1918 and 1920, followed by another 90,000 – or 30 percent of the population of Malta – between 1948 and 1967. By 1996, the net emigration from Malta during the 20th century exceeded 120,000, or 33.5% of the population of Malta.
After World War II, Malta's Emigration Department would assist emigrants with the cost of their travel. Between 1948 and 1967, 30 per cent of the population emigrated. Between 1946 and the late 1970s, over 140,000 people left Malta on the assisted passage scheme, with 57.6 per cent migrating to Australia, 22 per cent to the United Kingdom, 13 per cent to Canada and 7 per cent to the United States. Emigration dropped after the mid-1970s and has since ceased to be a social phenomenon of significance. Familiarity with the English language assisted Maltese migrants to assimilate in the host countries, the incidence of intermarriage with local foreigners is reputedly higher among Maltese emigrants than other ethnic communities. Extensive interaction between Maltese emigrants in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, their relatives in Malta, has brought Maltese culture closer to the English speaking world. Many Maltese emigrants and second generation Maltese Australians, Maltese Americans and Maltese Canadians returned to their homeland in the 1990s, recent years have seen an increase in the number of foreign expatriates moving to Malta British retirees.
In 1995, a section of Toronto's Junction neighbourhood was given the name "Malta Village" in recognition of the strong Maltese community that remains to this day. It is believed to be the largest Maltese community in North America. 46,998 Maltese-born residents were recorded by the 2001 Australian Census, 30,178 by the 2001 UK Census, 9,525 by the 2001 Canadian Census and 9,080 by the 2000 United States Census. Since Malta joined the EU in 2004 expatriate communities emerged in a number of European countries in Belgium and Luxembourg. At the same time, Malta is becoming more and more attractive for communities of immigrants, both from Western and Northern Europe and from Eastern Europe. Following the Convention for Maltese Living Abroad in 2010, t
The Reconquista is a name used in English to describe the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492. The completed conquest of Granada was the context of the Spanish voyages of discovery and conquest, the Americas—the "New World"—ushered in the era of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. Traditional historiography has marked the beginning of the Reconquista with the Battle of Covadonga, the first known victory in Iberia by Christian military forces since the 711 military invasion of Iberia by combined Arab-Berber forces. In that small battle, a group led by the nobleman Pelagius defeated a Muslim patrol in the mountains of northern Iberia and established the independent Christian Kingdom of Asturias. In the late 10th century, the Umayyad vizier Almanzor waged military campaigns for 30 years to subjugate the northern Christian kingdoms.
His armies composed of Slavic and African Mamluks, ravaged the north sacking the great shrine of Santiago de Compostela. When the government of Córdoba disintegrated in the early 11th century, a series of petty successor states known as taifas emerged; the northern kingdoms struck deep into Al-Andalus. After a Muslim resurgence in the 12th century the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian forces in the 13th century—Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248—leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south. After 1491, the entire peninsula was controlled by Christian rulers; the conquest was followed by the Alhambra Decree which expelled Jews who would not convert to Christianity from Castile and Aragon, a series of edicts which forced the conversions of the Muslims in Spain, although a significant part of them was expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. The concept of Reconquista, consolidated in Spanish historiography in the second half of the 19th century, was associated with the development of a Spanish national identity, emphasizing nationalistic and romantic, colonialist, aspects.
Since the 19th century traditional historiography has stressed the existence of the Reconquista, a continuous phenomenon by which the Christian Iberian kingdoms opposed and conquered the Muslim kingdoms, understood as a common enemy who had militarily seized territory from native Iberian Christians. The concept of a Christian reconquest of the peninsula first emerged, in tenuous form, at the end of the 9th century. A landmark was set by the Christian Chronica Prophetica, a document stressing the Christian and Muslim cultural and religious divide in Iberia and the necessity to drive the Muslims out. Both Christian and Muslim rulers fought amongst themselves. Alliances between Muslims and Christians were not uncommon. Blurring distinctions further were the mercenaries from both sides who fought for whoever paid the most; the period is seen today to have had long episodes of relative religious tolerance. The Crusades, which started late in the 11th century, bred the religious ideology of a Christian reconquest, confronted at that time with a staunch Muslim Jihad ideology in Al-Andalus by the Almoravids, to an greater degree by the Almohads.
In fact, previous documents from the 10th and 11th centuries are mute on any idea of "reconquest". Propaganda accounts of Muslim-Christian hostility came into being to support that idea, most notably the Chanson de Roland, a fictitious 11th-century French version of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass dealing with the Iberian Saracens, taught as historical fact in the French educational system since 1880; the modern idea of Reconquista is inextricably linked to the foundational myths of Spanish nationalism in the 19th century, consolidated by the mid-20th century during Franco's National-Catholic dictatorship, based on a strong underlying Castilian ideological element. The idea of a "liberation war" of reconquest against the Muslims, depicted as foreigners, suited well the anti-Republican rebels during the Spanish Civil War who agitated for the banner of a Spanish fatherland threatened by regional nationalisms and communism, their rebellious pursuit was thus a crusade for the restoration of the Church's unity, where Franco stood for both Pelagius of Asturias and El Cid.
The Reconquista has become a rallying call for right and far-right parties in Spain to expel from office incumbent progressive or peripheral nationalist options, as well as their values, in different political contexts as of 2018. Some contemporary authors consider it proved that the process of Christian state-building in Iberia was indeed defined by the reclamation of lands, lost to the Moors in generations past. In this way, state-building might be characterised—at least in ideological, if not practical, terms—as a process by which Iberian states were being'rebuilt'.. In turn, other recent historians dispute the whole concept of Reconquista as a concept created a posteriori in the service of political goals. A few historians point out that Spain and Portugal did not exist as nations, therefore the heirs of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom were not technically reconquering them, as the name suggests. One of the first Spanish intellectuals to question the idea of a "reconquest" that lasted for eight centuries was José Ortega y Gasset, writing in the first half of the 20th century.
However, the term is still in use
Culture of Gibraltar
The culture of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins. While there are Spanish and British influences, a result of the territory's status as a British overseas territory and its proximity to Spain, the ethnic origins of most Gibraltarians are a mix of Andalusian Spaniards, Maltese and British; the main religion is Christianity, the majority group being the Roman Catholic Church the Church of England. There is a long established Sephardic Jewish community, a number of Hindu Indians and a Moroccan Muslim population. Gibraltarians of Genoese origin came to The Rock in the 18th century, with the Maltese and Portuguese following in the 19th century, coming to work and trade in the British military base. Spanish Andalusian origins are the result of generations of intermarriage with inhabitants of surrounding towns. During the Second World War, the whole civilian population of The Rock was evacuated, in the interests of the British military, which decreed that "the fortress comes first".
They were moved to the UK to Fulham and Kensington in London and Ballymena in Northern Ireland, as well as Jamaica and Madeira. This served to strengthen a Gibraltarian, as opposed to British and after the war, there was a successful campaign for repatriation. Gibraltarians have been proud of their British heritage, unlike the inhabitants of other territories, sought to strengthen, rather than loosen their ties with the UK and the British Crown, seeing themselves as "more British than the British"; this sense of being British was strong when the frontier with Spain was closed in 1969, all communications links were severed. Until 16 December 2006, the only flights from Gibraltar Airport, were those to the UK. To some in Britain itself, this sense of "pantomime Britishness" is looked upon with a mixture of incomprehension and ridicule; the fact that they are of Mediterranean appearance and speak an Andalusian Spanish variant, known as Llanito gives Gibraltarians a strong resemblance to Andalusian Spaniards, despite the Gibraltarian's distinct cultural heritage and identity.
Most Gibraltarians are Roman Catholic, with the Diocese of Gibraltar being directly responsible to the Vatican. The Rock forms part of the Church of England diocese covering mainland Europe, with a "Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe". There is a Methodist Church and St Andrew's Church. There is a small but influential Jewish minority, active in business and politics, five synagogues. Most Moroccans are Muslim, there is a large mosque at Europa Point, the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, paid for by Saudi Arabia. Most Indians are Hindu, with their own local temple. Additionally there are two active congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses sharing the same Kingdom Hall. Cultural ties with Spain have been strong. Intermarriage between Gibraltarians and Spaniards resulted in many people having relatives on the other side of the frontier, known in Spanish as La Verja or'the fence'; these people were badly affected by the closure of the frontier in 1969, which saw telephone links severed, so that the only way that families could communicate was to shout across the border gates.
Others took the more cumbersome and costly route of travelling first from Gibraltar to Tangiers by ferry and taking another ferry to Algeciras, before taking a final coach to La Línea de la Concepción. A journey that would take half a day, when the end destination would have been within walking distance under normal circumstances. Since the frontier with Spain was reopened, ties with the hinterland, known as the "Campo de Gibraltar", have increased, with many buying property in places like La Línea de la Concepción, Sotogrande and further afield like the Costa del Sol, where prices are lower. On the weekends, many flock across the frontier, with livelier nightclubs and bars than in Gibraltar. Younger Gibraltarians have considerable exposure to popular culture from Spain, vice versa, the pop group "Taxi" having found success on the Spanish charts all of its songs being in Spanish. In addition, Gibraltarians of all ages are avid supporters of Spanish football teams like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.
F. as well as English teams such as Manchester United F. C. and Arsenal F. C.. However, the Gibraltar Football Association's application for membership of UEFA, which would enable it to participate in the European Football Championships and the Football World Cup, has met with strong opposition from the Royal Spanish Football Federation; this is seen as yet another attempt to deny the existence of Gibraltar internationally. While Gibraltarians have multiple identities, seeing themselves to varying degrees as Gibraltarian and European, they do not identify with the Spanish state. While some in Britain's Foreign Office would like to see this closening of ties result in an'osmosis' between The Rock and the "Campo de Gibraltar", there is no prospect of Gibraltarians accepting absorption into Spain. A trip across the frontier to La Línea, is still described as "going to Spain". British influence remains strong. Spanish may be spoken, but it is used as a vernacular language, English being the only official language used in government, commerce and the media.
Gibraltarians going on to higher education attend university in the UK and not in Spain. Many university graduates remain in the UK to pursue careers there. After the Second World War, most evacuees were repatriated, but some stayed on, while many moved to the UK, thereby increasing family ties
The prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula begins with the arrival of the first hominins 1.2 million years ago and ends with the Punic Wars, when the territory enters the domains of written history. In this long period, some of its most significant landmarks were to host the last stand of the Neanderthal people, to develop some of the most impressive Paleolithic art, alongside southern France, to be the seat of the earliest civilizations of Western Europe and to become a most desired colonial objective due to its strategic position and its many mineral riches. Hominin inhabitation of the Iberian Peninsula dates from the Paleolithic. Early hominin remains have been discovered at a number of sites on the peninsula. Significant evidence of an extended occupation of Iberia by Neanderthal man has been discovered. Homo sapiens first entered Iberia towards the end of the Paleolithic. For a time Neanderthals and modern humans coexisted until the former were driven to extinction. Modern man continued to inhabit the peninsula through the Neolithic periods.
Many of the best preserved prehistoric remains are in the Atapuerca region, rich with limestone caves that have preserved a million years of human evolution. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and 1.2 million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor. In the Gran Dolina, investigators have found evidence of tool use to butcher animals and other hominins, to constitute the first evidence of cannibalism in a hominin species. Evidence of fire has been found at the site, suggesting they cooked their meat. In Atapuerca, is the site at Sima de los Huesos, or "Pit of Bones". Excavators have found the remains of 30 hominins dated to about 400,000 years ago; the remains have been tentatively classified as Homo heidelbergensis and may be ancestors of the Neanderthals. No evidence of habitation has been found at the site except for one stone hand-ax, all of the remains at the site are of young adults or teenagers.
The age similarity suggests. The deliberate placement of remains and lack of habitation may mean that the bodies were deliberately interred in the pit as a place of burial, which would make the site the first evidence of hominin burial. Around 200,000 BC, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BC, during the Middle Paleolithic period the last ice age began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established; the Escoural Cave has evidence of human activity starting in the Middle Palaeolithic, with an estimated date of 50,000 years BP. Around 35,000 BC, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France this culture extended into Northern Iberia; this culture continued to exist until around 28,000 BC when Neanderthal man faced extinction, their final refuge has been said to be Gibraltar. Neanderthal remains have been found at a number of sites on the Iberian Peninsula.
A Neanderthal skull was found in Forbes' Quarry in Gibraltar in 1848 making it the second territory after Belgium where remains of Neanderthals were found. Neanderthals were not recognized as a separate species until the discovery of remains in Neandertal, Germany in 1856, though their classification as a separate species has been called into question. Subsequent Neanderthal discoveries in Gibraltar have been made including the skull of a four-year-old child and preserved excrement on top of baked mussel shells; the Neanderthals were present in Iberia until at least 28,000 or 27,000 BC. Evidence of their presence in this period is found in Figueira Brava and Salemas; the Cave of Salemas and the Cave of Pego do Diabo, both located in Loures Municipality, were inhabited in the Paleolithic. Archaeological industries of the Middle Paleolithic in Iberia lasted until about 28,000 or 26,000 BC. During this period, the Mousterian culture was replaced by the Aurignacian culture; the Mousterian culture is associated with Neanderthals and the Aurignacian culture is associated with modern humans.
In Zafarraya a Neanderthal mandible and Mousterian tools, associated with the Neanderthal culture, were found in 1995. The mandible was dated to about 28,000 BC and the tools to about 25,000 BC; these dates make the Zafarraya remains the youngest evidence of Neanderthals and have expanded the timeline of Neanderthal existence. The more recent dating of the remains provides the first evidence for prolonged co-existence between Neanderthals and modern man. L'Arbreda Cave in Catalonia contains Aurignacian cave paintings, as well as earlier remains from Neanderthals; some have suggested that the newer remains in Iberia suggest Neanderthals were driven out of Central Europe by modern man to the Iberian peninsula where they sought refuge. The Chatelperronian culture is found in Catalonia; the Aurignacian culture succeeds it and has the following periodization: Archaic Aurignacian: found in Cantabria, where it alternates with Chatelperronian, in Catalonia. The carbon-14 dates for Morín cave are late in the European context: c. 28,500 BP, but the occupation dates for El Pendo must be of earlier date.
Typical Aurignacian: is found in the Basque Country and Catalonia. Radiocarbon dating gives the following dates: 32,425 and 29,515 BP. Evolved Aurignacian: is found in Cantabria (Morin, El Pendo, El Otero, H
Gibraltar Football Association
The Gibraltar Football Association is the governing body for Gibraltarian football and futsal. It was formed as the Gibraltar Civilian Football Association in 1895, changing to its current name in years, it is one of the oldest football associations in the world. From October 2012, the GFA were provisional members of UEFA and the Gibraltar national futsal team, under-19 and under-17 representative teams participated in the 2013/14 UEFA season competitions. At the XXXVII UEFA Congress held in London on 24 May 2013, Gibraltar was accepted as a full member of UEFA. Gibraltar were admitted to FIFA as a full member on 13 May 2016 at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico; the GFA was formed as an increasing number of football clubs were coming into existence in Gibraltar, the association was designed to bring some form of organisation to the game there. Between the association's formation and 1907 the only football competition in Gibraltar was the Merchant's Cup. However, in 1907 the GFA established a league to complement the existing cup competition.
By 1901 the GFA had established a representative national team, competing against British military teams. This representative team continued to play down the years, their highlight being a draw against Real Madrid C. F. in 1949. The GFA affiliated with The Football Association in 1909, became a full member of FIFA in 2016 allowing its national team is allowed to compete in all international competitions; this attempt was met with fierce opposition from the Royal Spanish Football Federation but was ratified on 13 May 2016 at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico. The GFA's application to become a member of FIFA was filed in 1997. Two years FIFA confirmed the opening of the procedure and forwarded the GFA application to the appropriate continental confederation, UEFA, since according to FIFA statutes it is the responsibility of confederations to grant membership status to applicants. In 2000, a joint delegation of UEFA and FIFA conducted an inspection on the GFA's facilities and infrastructure; the Spanish FA opposed the GFA's application.
In 2001, UEFA changed its statutes so that only associations in a country "recognised by the United Nations as an independent State" could become members. On such grounds, UEFA denied the GFA's application. Current FIFA and UEFA members include several federations which cannot be said to represent independent nations, such as the UK Home Nations, the Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei and New Caledonia. French Guiana, Martinique and Saint Martin each have national teams which, despite not being FIFA members, are allowed to compete at the CONCACAF confederation level. FIFA has accepted members from other British overseas territories who compete in FIFA World Cup qualification tournaments despite not being sovereign states, including Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands; the GFA appealed to the world's highest sporting court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which in 2003 ruled that the GFA application should be handled according to the old statute.
However, UEFA continued to refuse accepting the GFA as member. In August 2006, the CAS ruled again that Gibraltar had to be allowed as a full UEFA and FIFA member, on 8 December 2006, it was announced that Gibraltar had become a provisional member of UEFA. However, full membership required a vote of the UEFA membership. Leading up to this vote, the Spanish football federation lobbied against Gibraltar's membership; the Federation's president Ángel María Villar attributed Spain's opposition to the Spanish claim over Gibraltar. He claimed it was a political issue and referred to the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. On 26 January 2007 at the UEFA Congress held in Düsseldorf, Gibraltar's application to become a full member of UEFA was rejected, with 45 votes against, 3 in favour, 4 undecided. On 21 March 2012 the request for full UEFA membership by Gibraltar was discussed again, a road map which includes financial and educational support from UEFA was agreed; this road map was to run until the Ordinary UEFA Congress in 2013, when member associations would vote on the request for admission.
UEFA's Executive Committee admitted the GFA as a provisional member as of 1 October 2012, pending a vote at its Congress in May 2013 to make it a full member. After the vote at the UEFA congress held in London on 24 May 2013, Gibraltar was accepted as a full UEFA member. A vote was carried out, a clear majority was found to have voted to admit Gibraltar to UEFA. Two national associations. Gibraltar became the smallest UEFA member by population, behind San Marino Liechtenstein and the Faroe Islands. Following the example of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia and Georgia it was confirmed that Gibraltar and Spain would be kept apart in qualifying groups for the European Championship; as part of the celebrations for the GFA's achievement, a 54p stamp was issued by the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau commemorating the association becoming the 54th member of UEFA. On 13 May 2016, Gibraltar was accepted as a member of FIFA with a vote of 172 to 12 in favour. Gibraltar became FIFA's 211th member after the Football Federation of Kosovo was voted member 210.
Football in Gibraltar Gibraltar national football team GFA website Gibraltar at UEFA site Gibraltar's historic Four Nations Tournament campaign Website campaigning for GFA to become full UEFA and FIFA member Sportgibraltar with references to Herald Tribune etc. Sportgibraltar with references to Gibraltar Chronicle Spanish Football Federation interfering at UEFA BBC report on entry to UEFA BBC report on GFA's provisional