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Uefa Don't Let Gibraltar Join


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First of all: You still haven't answered my question about conflicts in past British Olympic teams. It would help a lot if you answered my questions first before turning to other subjects.

I'm not aware of any conflicts in the Olympic team but the Scottish and Welsh FAs have persistently refused any talk of joining England to form a united British football federation.During the World Cup last year,most Scots declared that they would openly support ANY team that was playing against England and there was even an incident where a boy was beaten up in Glasgow for wearing the English football team colours!

And secondly: Could you please go a bit more into detail about that "hoo-hah"? I don't know what you're talking about. And additionally: What does that "hoo-hah" change about the existence of the United Kingdom? Let me repeat my question: Why on earth are you still one country then -- if your interior conflicts are really that dramatic? I've never heard that the United Kingdom is in real danger of breaking up.

According to the latest opinion polls in Scotland,the Scottish Nationalists will become the largest party in the Scottish Parliament in the May elections.If that happens,they have promised to hold a referendum on independence for Scotland by 2011.Senior politicians like Blair and Brown are rattled enough to warn about the real possibility of the breakup of the 300 year-old union! Here's a video of Chancellor Gordon Brown warning about the danger of a breakup of the United Kingdom:

Gordon Brown warns of the dangers of an Anglo-Scottish breakup:

And here's one of Scottish Nationalist leader,Alec Salmond talking of his plans for an independent Scotland:

Alec Salmond on plans for Scottish independence:

Edited by Mainad
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How the hell should I know? I'm not an Olympian, I've never been part of an Olympic team. What makes you think I have some sort of inside information. Let's face it - most Olympic sports that "British" athletes are involved with are individual, not team disciplines aren't they, so why would it register?

I haven't asked about inside information but for cases of such strong disputes between members of the Olympic team (including not only the athletes but also the officials) that those disputes have been covered by the media.

But none of this alters this basic fact - more and more people in Britain don't feel British. The figures speak for themselves. I identify myself as English first and foremost. If the UK ceased to exist tomorrow, it wouldn't really bother me. This isn't specifically a sporting issue, it is a far wider issue based on a large number of factors.

However that doesn't alter the fact that the UK still exists. And it doesn't alter the fact that I simply don't see a serious chance of the country splitting up in the near future -- even if the SNP should get in charge in Scotland. Split-ups only happen in nations shaken by civil wars, other serious ethnic conflicts or severe political crises (such as former Yugoslavia or the USSR). I highly doubt that Scotland will really try to stand on its own feet -- independent from the infrastructural benefits of the English homeland. All parts of the UK will only stay strong as they are if they stand united. And I won't lose hope that this awareness will prevail even in the field of sports.

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I'm not aware of any conflicts in the Olympic team but the Scottish and Welsh FAs have persistently refused any talk of joining England to form a united British football federation.During the World Cup last year,most Scots declared that they would openly support ANY team that was playing against England and there was even an incident where a boy was beaten up in Glasgow for wearing the English football team colours!

According to the latest opinion polls in Scotland,the Scottish Nationalists will become the largest party in the Scottish Parliament in the May elections.If that happens,they have promised to hold a referendum on independence for Scotland by 2011.Senior politicians like Blair and Brown are rattled enough to warn about the real possibility of the breakup of the 300 year-old union! Here's a video of Chancellor Gordon Brown warning about the danger of a breakup of the United Kingdom:

Gordon Brown warns of the dangers of an Anglo-Scottish breakup:

And here's one of Scottish Nationalist leader,Alec Salmond talking of his plans for an independent Scotland:

Alec Salmond on plans for Scottish independence:

As far as I am aware, Mainad, the BBC's videos and broadband services can only be viewed from within the UK.

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As far as I am aware, Mainad, the BBC's videos and broadband services can only be viewed from within the UK.

Well, I can open the video player but the video doesn't start. But it doesn't matter -- because it isn't clear yet whether the SNP will get a majority for forming a new government with the other separatist parties. Thanks to the Scottish electoral system, they'll possibly have to form a coalition with one of the union-friendly parties. Or maybe they even won't be needed for a new government at all.

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Well, I can open the video player but the video doesn't start. But it doesn't matter -- because it isn't clear yet whether the SNP will get a majority for forming a new government with the other separatist parties. Thanks to the Scottish electoral system, they'll possibly have to form a coalition with one of the union-friendly parties. Or maybe they even won't be needed for a new government at all.

Sorry about the connection,and of course nothing is certain; I was just trying to warn you of the possibility which is very real!

But do you now understand a little better why,in the present political climate,the formation of a united British football federation is virtually impossible? Even if the SNP do not win a majority in May,that won't lessen the anti-English feeling north of the border one jot!

By the way,there is a recent example of a peaceable separation of a state into two countries; when the former Czechoslavakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993!

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Sorry about the connection,and of course nothing is certain; I was just trying to warn you of the possibility which is very real!

But do you now understand a little better why,in the present political climate,the formation of a united British football federation is virtually impossible? Even if the SNP do not win a majority in May,that won't lessen the anti-English feeling north of the border one jot!

By the way,there is a recent example of a peaceable separation of a state into two countries; when the former Czechoslavakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993!

But that was a late consequence of the break-up of the Eastern bloc, i.e. a major political crisis. And it happened by mutual consent. In Britain's case, it would probably be only one side (i.e. the Scots) striving for a secession.

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And yes, I understand the problem. But never say never. Why should the relationship between Scots and English stay the same forever? When it has changed to a more negative climate during the past years, why shouldn't it change back to a more positive atmosphere in the future?

Maybe it would be even good to let the SNP win the elections and form the government -- then probably many Scots would see that even the SNP can't work any wonders and that confrontation with England is the wrong way.

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And yes, I understand the problem. But never say never. Why should the relationship between Scots and English stay the same forever? When it has changed to a more negative climate during the past years, why shouldn't it change back to a more positive atmosphere in the future?

But the atmosphere has never been very positiive,so what's to go back to? Scotland has a long history of resentment and resistance to its 'big brother' south of the border (Braveheart anyone?) and now that the British Empire,which provided a lot of employment opportunities to enterprising Scots is long dead and buried,many present day enterprising Scots don't feel the need to be attached to England's apron-strings anymore (except for those like Brown who have made their careers at Westminster).

They want to re-assert their national identity in the eyes of the world.After all,doesn't the rest of the world tend to see Scotland as some quaint part of England,rather than the nation it has long been in its own right? If I were a Scot,I might feel the same way.

Maybe it would be even good to let the SNP win the elections and form the government -- then probably many Scots would see that even the SNP can't work any wonders and that confrontation with England is the wrong way.

Maybe.But you cannot always fight against such feelings by quoting statistics and drawing up economic balance sheets,can you?

Incidentally,a recent snap opinion poll showed that most English people wanted their own parliament like the Scots and Welsh and were quite happy for Scotland to become independent if they wish.Many of us have become quite resigned to the fact that the Scots will continue to hate us otherwise and that maybe only full blown Scottish independence can restore any feelings of true friendship between us.Not necessarily very scientific I know, but it does show you that the concept of separation is not as unthinkable as it once was!

But you don't need to take my word for it,ask a Scot how he would feel about scrapping his football federation and combining with England to form a united British football team?? ;)

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But that was a late consequence of the break-up of the Eastern bloc, i.e. a major political crisis. And it happened by mutual consent. In Britain's case, it would probably be only one side (i.e. the Scots) striving for a secession.

Doesn't necessarily have to be the Scots.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If I may, I'd like to take this thread back "on-topic" as it were. I'm a Gibraltarian myself, and so the Dusseldorf decision naturally hurt me. I recognise I am biased, but then again so are others in this forum.

My main aim here, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Gibraltar's exclusion from UEFA, is to correct some of the misinformation that seems to be flying around.

(1)The notion that Gibraltar is part of the UK is new to me. Gibraltar is not an independent state, it is a UK Overseas Territory which constitutionally does NOT form part of the United Kingdom. It is therefore wrong to equate it with England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It is simple, basic fact that Gibraltar does NOT form part of the UK.

(2)Gibraltar DOES have a football pitch. It is called the Victoria Stadium and is fully approved by FIFA as a 1 star recommended installation (artificial pitch). Curiously enough, FIFA lists it under the UEFA section of approved pitches (see link below). The 1 star grading enables the Victoria Stadium pitch to be used for FIFA preliminary competitions.

http://www.fifa.com/en/development/pitchse...245,710,00.html

nuto has raised the usual Spanish point on Gibraltar not being an independent country and therefore not being entitled to UEFA membership. He forgets, perhaps because it is convenient for him to do so, that the Gibraltar Football Association's (GFA) application for membership was submitted BEFORE the UEFA Statutes were changed in order to bar non-independent territories from applying for membership. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland ruled in favour of the GFA and forced UEFA Executive Committee to consider the Gibraltarian application AS THE STATUTES STOOD BEFORE THEY WERE CHANGED TO BAR THE ENTRY OF NON-INDEPENDENT TERRITORIES FROM APPLYING. That is to say, the point on Gibraltar not being an independent state as recognised by the United Nations did NOT apply for the purposes of considering the Gibraltarian application. This is the reason why the UEFA Executive Committee had NO CHOICE but to grant provisional membership to Gibraltar. We should remember that the Faroe Islands, an autonomous part of Denmark, are UEFA members and yet are not an independent state nor are they members of the UN.

The decision to exclude Gibraltar came from the UEFA Congress, not from the Executive Committee. The Congress works on a one-member, one-vote system, and it would take a pretty naive person to suggest that politics takes no part in the Congress workings. It would not be too far off the mark to suggest that perhaps Spain conducted a thorough behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign (Gibraltar tried the same - but we are hardly comparing like with like here) to convince an overwhelming majority of countries (48 out of 52) to reject the Gibraltarian application. Less clear is what tactics were used.

One final point - I find it hilarious that some individuals here have avatars with an Olympic flag and yet make the comments that you make. I suppose those individuals pretend to share the Olympic spirit and yet come up with gems such as Gibraltar just being a third-rate football team, just being a rock with 28,000 inhabitants, etc etc. That, dear friends, is not Olympic spirit, it is sheer arrogance and ignorance. By all means make your point...but inform yourselves first, and please avoid insulting my country, we have done nothing at all to deserve it. Thanks!

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If I may, I'd like to take this thread back "on-topic" as it were. I'm a Gibraltarian myself, and so the Dusseldorf decision naturally hurt me. I recognise I am biased, but then again so are others in this forum.

My main aim here, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Gibraltar's exclusion from UEFA, is to correct some of the misinformation that seems to be flying around.

(1)The notion that Gibraltar is part of the UK is new to me. Gibraltar is not an independent state, it is a UK Overseas Territory which constitutionally does NOT form part of the United Kingdom. It is therefore wrong to equate it with England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It is simple, basic fact that Gibraltar does NOT form part of the UK.

(2)Gibraltar DOES have a football pitch. It is called the Victoria Stadium and is fully approved by FIFA as a 1 star recommended installation (artificial pitch). Curiously enough, FIFA lists it under the UEFA section of approved pitches (see link below). The 1 star grading enables the Victoria Stadium pitch to be used for FIFA preliminary competitions.

http://www.fifa.com/en/development/pitchse...245,710,00.html

nuto has raised the usual Spanish point on Gibraltar not being an independent country and therefore not being entitled to UEFA membership. He forgets, perhaps because it is convenient for him to do so, that the Gibraltar Football Association's (GFA) application for membership was submitted BEFORE the UEFA Statutes were changed in order to bar non-independent territories from applying for membership. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland ruled in favour of the GFA and forced UEFA Executive Committee to consider the Gibraltarian application AS THE STATUTES STOOD BEFORE THEY WERE CHANGED TO BAR THE ENTRY OF NON-INDEPENDENT TERRITORIES FROM APPLYING. That is to say, the point on Gibraltar not being an independent state as recognised by the United Nations did NOT apply for the purposes of considering the Gibraltarian application. This is the reason why the UEFA Executive Committee had NO CHOICE but to grant provisional membership to Gibraltar. We should remember that the Faroe Islands, an autonomous part of Denmark, are UEFA members and yet are not an independent state nor are they members of the UN.

The decision to exclude Gibraltar came from the UEFA Congress, not from the Executive Committee. The Congress works on a one-member, one-vote system, and it would take a pretty naive person to suggest that politics takes no part in the Congress workings. It would not be too far off the mark to suggest that perhaps Spain conducted a thorough behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign (Gibraltar tried the same - but we are hardly comparing like with like here) to convince an overwhelming majority of countries (48 out of 52) to reject the Gibraltarian application. Less clear is what tactics were used.

One final point - I find it hilarious that some individuals here have avatars with an Olympic flag and yet make the comments that you make. I suppose those individuals pretend to share the Olympic spirit and yet come up with gems such as Gibraltar just being a third-rate football team, just being a rock with 28,000 inhabitants, etc etc. That, dear friends, is not Olympic spirit, it is sheer arrogance and ignorance. By all means make your point...but inform yourselves first, and please avoid insulting my country, we have done nothing at all to deserve it. Thanks!

por alusiones,y sin animo de nuevas polémicas,te reafirmo lo que ya te dije alguna vez en conversaciones privadas:

-estoy convencido de que el futuro de Gibraltar es la independencia,no la reintegracion a España (303 años es mucho tiempo).pero el actual statu quo es doloso para el español medio y seguiran protestando y haciendo la puñeta en todo lo que puedan (tema UEFA,por ejemplo)

-personalmente no creo que la entrada de Gibraltar en la UEFA hubiera sido ninguna tragedia,Gibraltar es miembro de muchas asociaciones (FIBA,por ejemplo,ademas fue admitida en Barcelona en 1986) y no pasa nada (¿que podia pasar?),el problema de fondo NO es Gibraltar.ES CATALUÑA y en menor medida el PAIS VASCO,cuyos gobiernos autonomicos quieren selecciones nacionales en competiciones internacionales.el razonamiento de Madrid (y es compartido por todos los gobiernos europeos,pues casi todos tienen sus problemas similares) es:si abrimos la mano a Gibraltar,luego vendran las autonomias españolas y algunos lander y Flandes y algunas regiones italianas y etc,etc.

ya se que no son casos equiparables (Gibraltar es un territorio de ultramar,no parte de UK,etc) pero eso explicaselo a ellos.

-teneis un estadio,pero el argumento español no es que no sea valido,es que esta en territorio disputado (el istmo) no cedido en Utrecht.sera un argumento absurdo,pero es el argumento español.nada de cuestionar las condiciones del Victoria Stadium...

-espero que en un cercano futuro un Gibraltar independiente (¿Principado de Gibraltar?) ingrese en la UEFA y en la FIFA y gane a España (Podria ser):)

saludos

PD: te respondo en español porque me expreso mejor y me estoy dirigiendo solo a ti ,Dennis,que me consta que me entiendes perfectamente.ademas si respondiera en ingles,alimentaria las respuestas de jovenes britanicos (que tienen todo mi respeto) pero suelen opinar por boca de ganso en este tema y rescatar la armada invencible,la inquisicion y Trafalgar.

¿has leido el articulo de Paco Oliva en el Gibraltar Chronicle sobre este tema?

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One final point - I find it hilarious that some individuals here have avatars with an Olympic flag and yet make the comments that you make. I suppose those individuals pretend to share the Olympic spirit and yet come up with gems such as Gibraltar just being a third-rate football team, just being a rock with 28,000 inhabitants, etc etc. That, dear friends, is not Olympic spirit, it is sheer arrogance and ignorance. By all means make your point...but inform yourselves first, and please avoid insulting my country, we have done nothing at all to deserve it. Thanks!

I understand that this is an emotional topic for you -- but I have to reject the accusation that my criticism on Gibraltar's UEFA membership was meant as an insult to the whole country. For me, the problem is (and that's why I gave my comment): The membership of many other small countries creates a problem for UEFA already now. Currently, there are discussions whether weaker teams from small countries should have a pre-qualification for the EURO qualifiers since it has become a growing problem that stronger teams have to play qualifier matches against teams several classes below them. This is simply not efficient. Gibraltar's acceptance as additional small member would not really reduce that problem.

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PD: te respondo en español porque me expreso mejor y me estoy dirigiendo solo a ti ,Dennis,que me consta que me entiendes perfectamente.ademas si respondiera en ingles,alimentaria las respuestas de jovenes britanicos (que tienen todo mi respeto) pero suelen opinar por boca de ganso en este tema y rescatar la armada invencible,la inquisicion y Trafalgar.

¿has leido el articulo de Paco Oliva en el Gibraltar Chronicle sobre este tema?

¿Estás seguro que estos jóvenes no entienden el español?

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I understand that this is an emotional topic for you -- but I have to reject the accusation that my criticism on Gibraltar's UEFA membership was meant as an insult to the whole country. For me, the problem is (and that's why I gave my comment): The membership of many other small countries creates a problem for UEFA already now. Currently, there are discussions whether weaker teams from small countries should have a pre-qualification for the EURO qualifiers since it has become a growing problem that stronger teams have to play qualifier matches against teams several classes below them. This is simply not efficient. Gibraltar's acceptance as additional small member would not really reduce that problem.

Naturally its an emotional topic, and I don't pretend to be objective in all this for one moment.

I have some problem accepting that "small countries" present a problem for UEFA. Call me an idealist, but UEFA aren't supposed to be a "big boys" club only. Their role is to administer football in the continent of Europe. The continent of Europe includes San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Faroe Islands, Malta, Cyprus. It also includes Gibraltar. UEFA is as responsible for the development of football in these countries/territories as it is for the development of football in Germany, England, Spain, Italy, etc. In fact, I would go as far as to argue that they owe a greater share of responsibility to these footballing "outposts", with considerably fewer resources than those available to the FA, DFB, or RFEF.

Looking at things from a purely logistical and more objective angle, I am willing to accept that the "problem" that a large membership (now 53) creates is a long drawn-out qualification phase which creates pressure on those countries with long domestic seasons. Gibraltar would have no absolutely no problem with the implementation of a pre-qualification phase. As an example, Gibraltar already participates in the FIBA Europe Promotions Cup in basketball, designed as a pre-qualification phase involving the small countries of Europe and in which the winner goes on to play a full qualification programme against the big guns in the sport. I personally see no problem with a similar framework being introduced in football, and I can assure you that the GFA feels the same.

The question is, however, would this remove opposition to Gibraltar's UEFA membership from Spain? The answer is no, quite simply because the issue of more "small countries" is NOT the reason why Gibraltar has been excluded. It may have been used by certain lobbyists as a smokescreen with which to cover deeper, political objectives, but what really lies at the heart of this (sadly) are not genuine sporting considerations, but a 300 year-old political dispute and the reclamation of sovereignty. Fair play to Spain - she has defended her corner and protected her political interests, but let's call a spade a spade and let's stop finding sporting excuses for overtly political behaviour.

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  • 5 years later...

Gibraltar gains provisional entry to UEFA

(AFP)

MADRID — Gibraltar's football league won provisional entry into European football's governing body UEFA on Monday, moving forward in a membership bid that is hotly opposed by Spain.

UEFA's executive committee took the decision at a meeting in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, falling in line with an earlier ruling in Gibraltar's favour by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"The committee has admitted Gibraltar as a provisional member of UEFA as from today," UEFA said in a statement published online.

"This follows a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in August 2011. A decision on the admission of the Gibraltar Football Association as a full member of UEFA will be taken by the XXXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress in London in May 2013."

Gibraltar previously won provisional membership of UEFA in December 2006, also after a favourable CAS ruling, only to be turned down a month later by a large majority in a UEFA Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The latest decision to admit Gibraltar on a provisional basis was greeted with joy by Gibraltar, but Spain vowed to fight it by every legal means available.

"We are very pleased at the outcome," Gibraltar Football Association general secretary Richard Manning told AFP.

"We would like to thank UEFA for taking the decision."

The Gibraltar football boss said there were still "quite a few obstacles" to gaining full membership at the vote in May.

Entry to UEFA would be important to the tiny territory, he said, allowing youth teams in particular to compete against other European teams instead of being "static" on the Rock.

"We are very passionate about our football in Gibraltar," Manning said.

The Gibraltar Football League was established in 1895, he said.

The league comprises six teams in the premier division, 10 in reserves, 12 in the second division, three women's teams, and 47 junior teams from under-sevens to under-16s with about 600 young players.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. Britain refuses to do so against the wishes of Gibraltarians.

Spain's government would oppose Gibraltar's UEFA membership "with every legal means possible", a Spanish foreign ministry spokeswoman told news agency Europa Press.

AFP

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  • 7 months later...

Gibraltar becomes Uefa's 54th member despite Spain's past objections

Gibraltar have become Uefa's 54th member nation after the European ruling body voted for its inclusion at its congress in London.

There had been opposition from Spain but the Gibraltar FA won a case at the court of arbitration for sport obliging Uefa to accept the British overseas territory as a member.

The Uefa president Michel Platini said that Gibraltar would be kept apart from Spain in qualifying for Euro 2016. "Gibraltar will not play qualifying matches with Spain – we also have this situation with Armenia and Azerbaijan,'' he said.

"This is a momentous occasion for football in Gibraltar," said Gareth Latin, president of the Gibraltar FA. "Uefa membership means that we can begin the next chapter of Gibraltarian football.

"At last we'll be able to show the whole of Europe that we can match the best with football of a high standard and entertaining style.

"It will open up a whole new world of opportunities for our highly skilled young footballers. This is one of our greatest sporting moments."

Gibraltar's first application, in 1999, had been rejected in the face of intense opposition from Spain, who feared that if Gibraltar were to be admitted to Uefa, it would set a precedent that could inspire similar claims from separatist Basque or Catalan teams.

The last vote was in 2007 when only three countries supported Gibraltar's application and Spain threatened to withdraw all its teams from Uefa competition if Gibraltar were admitted.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/24/gibraltar-uefa-54th-member-spain

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^^ Does Spain actually realizes that Gibraltar already made their decision long time ago to stay with the British Commonwealth? Jeez, this whole thing reminds me of Argentina and the Falklands.

Also I don't think Catalonia and Basque Country will be admitted that easily in the UEFA because of their political status, so they shouldn't had to worry that much. Anyway, congratulations to Gibraltar.

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Congrats Gibraltar, they won't play against Spain (which is obvious, since Spain stills fighting them) but we have the 54th member...

Can't wait to see how will they perform.

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