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If Catalonia declares independance ...

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If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 18:43

If Catalonia unilaterally declares independence should World Rugby/Rugby Europe recognise it and allow them to play international rugby?

If rugby were to be the first, or at least main, sport to recognise a new state it could become a symbol of the new country and be supported by the new government to grow into a major national team? Alternatively if the UDI failed may the sport be punished at a national level for encouraging the split?

What level would Catalonia be? Third tier level?

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby amz » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 19:59

Absolutely not.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 20:43

World Rugby is an IOC member. It can't/won't recognise any country with unilateral independence declaration unless IOC does.
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 22:50

There is already a topic about this: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1306&p=64415

Catalonia already was a FIRA member in the 1930s and has been playing international games in both XV and 7s. The beat Lusitanos XV (Portugal) in June 2016, although including non eligible players in their squad, and took part in Rome 7s this year. My guess is they would have Rugby Europe Trophy level at best unless FC Barcelona professionalises its rugby branch. Although it's been a historical rugby region in Spain, statistics aren't encouraging in terms of registered players growth.

And I doubt a quick recognition by World Rugby would have any effect. Catalonia has already been recognised by other sporting bodies without too much fuss, I believe it's even the case with Rugby League.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby 4N » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 23:36

Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona area) is the cradle of Spanish rugby in some ways. Produced Oriol Ripol and the NBA's Pau Gasol, who played junior rugby. They are a founding FIRA member as mentioned. Lots of rugby heritage there. Catalans RL just over the border as well, who have played in Barca before. Plus you know Catalonia would have a great kit.

From USAP Perpignan:

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby 4N » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 23:45

This was posted on another rugby forum by an old Portuguese player:

The Catalonia Rugby Union - no longer recognised, of course - was one of the funding unions of FIRA-AER.

Just a couple of years ago, the Catalonia Union applied to be readmitted, arguing, precisely, that they were a funding nation. The application was refused, no need to say.

Many years before that, when rugby was introduced in Spain, the first clubs were from Catalonia, namely Barcelona. The only town that is a real rugby locality in Spain is Sant Boi de Llobregat (more or less, 80,000 inhabitants), in Catalonia.

The local rugby club is Santboyana, many times Spanish Champion, and the club where Oriol Ripol started playing. During the Civil War, cause almost all the men were fighting, the Sant Boi women took positions at the club board (no, this is no myth).

For the Catalonia regional government, off the record, the rugby club of the whole Catalonia (Spanish and French Catalonia) is USAP, and the football club of the whole Catalonia is F. C. Barcelona.

But no, they would be at a level lower than Portugal, and right now, Portugal is at a level lower than Spain.


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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 00:36

Armchair Fan wrote:There is already a topic about this: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1306&p=64415

Catalonia already was a FIRA member in the 1930s and has been playing international games in both XV and 7s. The beat Lusitanos XV (Portugal) in June 2016, although including non eligible players in their squad, and took part in Rome 7s this year. My guess is they would have Rugby Europe Trophy level at best unless FC Barcelona professionalises its rugby branch. Although it's been a historical rugby region in Spain, statistics aren't encouraging in terms of registered players growth.

And I doubt a quick recognition by World Rugby would have any effect. Catalonia has already been recognised by other sporting bodies without too much fuss, I believe it's even the case with Rugby League.


Any Olympic sport?
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 06:01

No: http://seleccions.cat/index.php/selecci ... reconeguts

--

Sant Boi is important to Spanish rugby, yes, it's where rugby penetrated into the country, but trust me, an independence of Catalonia would hurt Spanish rugby today way less than it would have done 10 or 15 years ago. Madrid surpassed its number of players back in 2006 and kept growing at a faster rate, and the importance of the game in places like Valladolid is undeniable.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 13:51


That's it. World Rugby won't do anything unless IOC does.
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby 4N » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 16:17

Basques vs Catalonia would be a good match.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 17:38

It's not that unusual, since there is a tournament called Galeuscat Cup including Galicia, although Catalan Rugby Union prefers to give playtime to youngsters.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby beber » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 18:25

I was born and raised in the french part of Catalan countries and I'm going very often in Catalonia.

Those years, there were not a lot of catalans in the spanish team. Currently, I think there is only winger Jordi Jorba. Maybe few other french who are playing/set to play for Spain (like Custoja or Christopher Ruiz)

The most famous current player born in Catalonia is surely Jordi Murphy (Leinster & Ireland) - born in Barcelona.

If "french catalans" were included, Catalania would have been much stronger, there are a lot of Top14 and ProD2 born in Perpignan and in the surroundings, including France captain Guilhem Guirado who is born in the same city than me.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 19:13

Armchair Fan wrote:There is already a topic about this: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1306&p=64415

Catalonia already was a FIRA member in the 1930s and has been playing international games in both XV and 7s. The beat Lusitanos XV (Portugal) in June 2016, although including non eligible players in their squad, and took part in Rome 7s this year. My guess is they would have Rugby Europe Trophy level at best unless FC Barcelona professionalises its rugby branch. Although it's been a historical rugby region in Spain, statistics aren't encouraging in terms of registered players growth.

And I doubt a quick recognition by World Rugby would have any effect. Catalonia has already been recognised by other sporting bodies without too much fuss, I believe it's even the case with Rugby League.



Do you not think that in the current (and predicted future) atmosphere a recognition of an independent state would be considered a propaganda coup for the separatist government?

The idea I had was more than people might use rugby to identify with their new nationality, particularly if football throws up more barriers to them.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 19:30

It would a propaganda coup, sure. But it would hardly improve current rugby status in the region. There are already other sports more linked to nationalist feeling that would put even less barriers (trail running, roller hockey) to their recognition with quick sporting success secured due to their current level.

Regarding Spanish national team players that would be eligible for Catalonia, I imagine we could include Jordi Jorba, Marco Pinto, Sergi Aubanell, Pol Plà, Joan Losada plus some French-born guys as beber said. But as explained in a previous topic, Catalan Rugby Union has changed focus to 7s.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Figaro » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 20:50

If the Spanish state had a different attitude towards its regions, they could already have teams. You have the precedent of the UK, and Denmark, as states with multiplenty national teams within them. Spain's constitutional status in that regard is the most similar to the UK. I don't think anyone else would have an issue with there being separate national teams for Catalonia, Galicia etc.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 07 Oct 2017, 21:29

But United Kingdom and Denmark have two big reasons to justify why the need for separate national teams. Many sports were invented in the UK and first international games were between their different nations, so it's obvious why that tradition has been respected in sports like football, rugby, hockey... And in the case of Danish territories isolation made them to have own leagues or even play in different continents like Greenland does in handball, where it's considered an American team. This could have happened to Canary Islands and Africa, but they were fully integrated right from the beginning. In fact there were even North Moroccan teams in the early stages of La Liga.

The other issue would be at which point do you stop dividing Spain into multiple national teams. Don't forget apart from Catalonia, Euskadi and Galicia (where national feeling isn't that big, Spanish president is from there and his party in power wins there by huge margins, having governed the region for 30 out of 40 past years) there are other 14 regions and two autonomous cities. I remember not so long ago almost all of them held football games for Christmas and they stopped because it was pointless considering the lack of attractiveness and scheduling issues. Let me be straight, and I don't think I'm a crazy conservative guy: without Catalonia, Euskadi and Galicia, Spain is no longer Spain. It's something else. And it isn't Castille either, as somebody from Andalucía I would be disturbed AF if somebody considered me Castilian. Division would be hugely problematic.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Sun, 08 Oct 2017, 01:50

I always had a crazy thought: why pro-independence Catalans never tried to play for Andorra? Well, after all, Andorra is the "independent Catalonia". Andorra is the only country in the world where Catalan is the main offcial language.
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 08 Oct 2017, 05:09

Andorra is quite restrictive in terms of citizenship, it's not enough to have been born or spend many years there. And of course, sporting expectations aren't great. It's easier to see Andorrans play for Spain (Albert Celades in soccer or Quino Colom in basketball) than the other way round. And talking politics, Andorra is far from independent Catalonia. Pro-independence movement has traditionally been from left-wing and Andorra is an extremely conervative society, don't forget one of its Co-Princes is the Bishop of Urgell.

It's not usual, but pro-independence Catalan athletes are more likely to represent nationalities from countries closer to their cause. For example Helena Boada, a basketball player girlfriend of Jaka Lakovic, openly admitted she decided to play for Slovenia since she couldn't represent Catalonia internationally. They also feel sympathy for Baltic states.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Sun, 08 Oct 2017, 16:45

Interesting
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Figaro » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 08:49

Armchair Fan wrote:But United Kingdom and Denmark have two big reasons to justify why the need for separate national teams.... This could have happened to Canary Islands and Africa, but they were fully integrated right from the beginning. In fact there were even North Moroccan teams in the early stages of La Liga.


But that's my point, there's no reason why it couldn't have been done like that in Spain - just for whatever reason, it wasn't. Prior to 1999 Wales and (to a lesser extent) Scotland were functionally no different from English regions from the point of view of their practical legal and political status.

I accept that Spain minus the Iberian non-state countries has a bit of an identity issue, wheras England at least exists as a cultural concept even if in a practical sense it is not a separate entity to the UK. I can't help but feel though that if I were Catalan then my attitude would be that this was not really my problem.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 09:48

The thing is you're associating being Catalan with only one POV or identity. Catalan society is extremely divided, I've got friends living in Barcelona who have totally different experiences just because of the neighbourhood or close village they're living in. Either outcome (stay in Spain or proclaim independence) will have long lasting consequences because basically there are two big groups with totally different views on the future of their country and losers will feel their rights are denied. If you feel Catalan and pro-independence, having 30, 40, 45% (I don't care how much really) born and grown in your territory against your own new State it's definitely your problem.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby victorsra » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 13:08

Well, Scotland is also split about independence. What maybe Figaro mean is about sports representative teams. But it couldn't happen because Scotland and Wales are allowed in rugby and football because they are the founding members of the International Board. Although they are not the only cases: Austria and Hungary were FIFA members while they formed the Austria-Hungary Empire. Other times... Nowadays it cant happen
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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby Figaro » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 13:29

Armchair Fan wrote:having 30, 40, 45% (I don't care how much really) born and grown in your territory against your own new State it's definitely your problem.


But that's the situation already, surely, except it's a different set of people?

But yes, I was talking about sports teams and am not trying to make any kind of political point. What I was trying to say was that the UK (and Denmark) gives a clear precedent, if the Spanish had wanted to put forward several different national sides from the start then they could; there's no reason you have to do things in a particular way. Harder to change the way things are done once a system is embedded, but it can happen: the demise of the Great Britain Rugby League team, for instance.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby amz » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 13:31

Austria-Hungary wasn't one state but two different monarchies...the joint affaires were only in defense and foreign policy. In their turn, the two monarchies had some autonomous regions such as Croatia within Kingdom of Hungary.

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Re: If Catalonia declares independance ...

Postby STMKY » Mon, 09 Oct 2017, 14:06

Yes, guys. Many in the West clapped their hands when the USSR and Yugoslavia were destroyed. 25 years have passed, the boomerang returns.

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