Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Monaco quits NF Board


A version of this story appeared in Soccer Business World.

The Monaco Football Association has quit the NF Board for non-FIFA nations, which later this month holds its fourth Viva World Cup (VWC).

As a member of the United Nations, the Mediterranean principality is eligible to join UEFA but has not done so for fears that this could jeopardise the position of AS Monaco ASM) in France’s Ligue 1. Opportunities for Monegasques are rare at ASM and local players that started there, such as Guy Platto, Renaud Connen and Gregory Campi, have invariably left.

A national team was started in response to these lack of opportunities but, excluding tax exiles, Monaco only has a population of around 8,000 and there are only 60-odd eligible players.

Monaco were one of the founder members of the NF Board and played in the first VWC in 2006 but the growth of the organisation and inclusion of teams such as Kurdistan and Padania has created problems for Monaco.

“We didn’t participate to the [2010] Viva World Cup as we are not anymore member of the NF Board,” explained Yohan Garino, one of Monaco’s most capped players. “For political reason, we are not authorized by our Government to play against some teams.

"We also had some problems with the NF Board and teams of the association who used pictures of the national football team of Monaco and the Prince Albert as advertisement for their many exhibitions without authorisations. We were very disappointed about this last point which deserves us.”

Monaco have written to the NF Board explaining their decision. The organisation’s secretary general, Jean-Luc Kit, expressed his disappointment but hopes that some solution can be produced to prompt Monaco to return but with the next VWC scheduled for Iraqi Kurdistan in 2012, this may create further political problems that keep the Monegasques on the sidelines.