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  1. ITV Report

The Jersey FA have officially submitted an application to UEFA for the island to play international football

Photo: Jersey FA

A delegation from Jersey met UEFA Officials in Geneva today to formally submit Jesey's application to play international football.

The Island is currently isolated as it is neither part of the international game, nor part of the English game.

According to those in favour of the application this situation has lead to a decline in the level football is being played at on the island and has also stagnated the growth of the game.

The lack of competitive matches for Jersey’s best players has led to a gradual and serious decline in local football at the senior level in terms of standards, motivation and challenges.

Hence, whilst Jersey has strong programmes for developing the talent for boys and girls, those who benefit from this must leave Jersey if they want to continue to challenge themselves.

Most importantly, those who develop their talent in Jersey as children will often drift away from the game due to the lack of opportunity to test themselves in competitions outside the Island.

– Jersey's UEFA Application

They argue that UEFA accreditation would stimulate football at every level in Jersey, not only in terms of an increased number of games, but also in terms of improving player and coaching standards.

With approximately 100,000 inhabitants Jersey would in no way be the smallest UEFA member and there are plenty of Davis V Goliath stories to boost the island's application further. The Faroe Islands beating Austria and Greece; Liechtenstein drawing against Portugal and the Republic of Ireland; San Marino recently holding Estonia to a draw and Gibraltar drawing against Slovakia.

Gibraltar is a good comparison point as the British Overseas Territory only received its full membership in 2013 and is still the smallest member to date.

However Gibraltar started it's battle for UEFA membership in 1997 having to wait 16 years to be fully recognised, it could still be a long wait before we see Jersey play an officially recognised international game.

Jersey Women celebrate winning the NatWest Island Games by beating Aland 1-0 Credit: Itv News

The application also puts women's football at the heart of the process trying to build on the success of Jersey's women in the NatWest Island games to boost the sport further.

In response to the application being lodged the Deputy General Secretary of UEFA, Mr Theodore Theodoridis, announced he would be visiting the Island.

We will bring you much more on this story tomorrow.