Student or Learner
Though my question doesn't really refer to the language hopefully someone can give me an explanation.
In International football, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each has its own team - even each country uses its ancient flag and there is no team called the United Kingdom. By contrast, at Olympics athletes from England, Wales and Scotland compete as representatives of Great Britain, (Ireland, of course, participates as one nation) - the Union Flag (and the Irish Tricolor) are seen -, which suggests that Northern Irish competitors are absent from the games.
Is there an agreement or an Act that states when England, Wales, Scotland (and Northern Ireland) should represent itself or the GB (or the UK) in sporting events or any other of those?
We do actually compete as Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Olympics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...t_the_Olympics
However, I didn't know that until I looked it up, but it seemed logical to me that NI would be included as the UK is Great Britain + NI. Why we don't appear as the UK, is, I presume, down to the fact that we appeared as GB + Ireland in the days before the Irish Republic existed.
I am not a sports fan, but I don't know of any act; I imagine it's more to do with tradition and, in the case of football and rugby, national rivalries.