THE END OF THE GFA’S GOLDEN YEARS
Spain places an embargo on Spanish Clubs playing in Gibraltar.
Steve Menary in his book “OUTCASTS! the lands that FIFA forgot” writes;
The 1950’s were to be turbulent times for Spain and Gibraltar. In 1956, Spain granted independence to its territories in Morocco, but, crucially, retained two enclaves on Moroccan soil in Ceuta and Melilla - a distinct parallel with Gibraltar but not one seemingly apparent in Spanish political circles.
The previous year, Spain’s Delegation Nacional de Deportes had decided that all Spanish Sports Clubs needed written permission to play in Gibraltar. Teams without this permission were turned back at the border, including Real Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla - and so started what many in Gibraltar see as the slow death of football in the colony
This decision by Spain was the beginning of the end of the era when top European teams were being drawn to play in Gibraltar and in 1960 National Service was ended in the UK meaning that the number of Military based there fell from several thousand to a few hundred.
This added to the dilution of competitive representative games and a growing lack of interest by the average Gibraltarian.
Spain however places no restriction on those Gibraltarians who have the necessary skills to play at a professional level in Spain. These talented players, for one reason or another, rarely turn out for their “International” side, again reducing the potency of the GFA.