Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be on their guard against any threat to strip the home nations of their separate status, senior figures have warned.
There was a concerted effort in the 1970s and ’80s by some nations to make home nations play as one united British team, and the crisis at Fifa where a new president will be elected to replace Sepp Blatter, has raised fresh concern.
Northern Ireland FA president Jim Shaw said: “Any change has always got that potential, even if at the moment there is no evidence of a threat.
“We have twice gone through the Olympic issue – for London 2012 and then again earlier this year. The three Celtic nations Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales decided not to get involved in that because of the pressure we experienced in the 1970s and ’80s.”
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said the issue of pressure for one British team was a constant presence.
He said: “It has been under threat for the last 30 or 40 years. The fact of the matter is that we are independent football nations and we will continue to fight for that.
“It’s always on the radar and has been for a long time, and we will continue to work with our colleagues at the FA, Wales and Ireland.”