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Barracking is a self-defeating sourness that has no place in a modern Wales; Western Mail.

[bar] F GARETH Bale and Aaron Ramsey get to play for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games they will make their fans and the nation proud.

And instead of barracking two of our greatest footballing talents we should wish them the greatest of success.

Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley is absolutely right to condemn the "moral blackmailing" of the pair after they appeared in Team GB promotional pictures. A confident nation should celebrate the fact these Welshmen are in the frame for selection.

It was a moment of dismal and nasty pettiness when so-called Welsh fans barracked the duo as they left Cardiff City Stadium.

Lord Wigley is no less of a Welshman when he campaigns for the good of disabled people across the entire UK in the House of Lords, than when he championed Wales-only policies in the Senedd. Likewise, it is ridiculous and shameful to suggest that wholehearted participation in an Olympic team diminishes a player's commitment to Wales.

We should hope the pair write another shining 21st Century success story for our country.

International achievements in sports, science and arts have revealed that a new and transformative confidence is alive and burning in this nation.

Bale and Ramsey's combination of raw talent and hard-training have taken them to the position where they are ready to display such self-belief and skill in a global arena.

The attacks on the pair reveal a chippy insecurity which has dogged Wales for too long and must be abandoned if we are to develop a culture in which the success of others is a source of pride and not envy.

The argument their inclusion in the team poses a threat to Wales' position in FIFA is feeble and ludicrous. The Plaid peer was right to ask why supporters were not camped outside FIFA's headquarters if there was evidence of a move to exclude Wales.

If the FAW does not stamp out the heckling they will have done a disservice to the players and let down Wales.

The participation of Welsh players in the British Lions in no way threatens our standing as a rugby nation. Some of the most thrilling moments in our rugby story took place when Gareth Edwards, Barry John and Gerald Davies were wearing the British Lions' shirt.

Every moment of triumph they won for the British team was also a victory for Wales and Bale and Ramsey will continue this tradition in football.

A nation infused with Olympian spirit will hope its sons and daughters win the greatest share of medals in Team GB. Our ambitions are too big and are hopes are too high for self-defeating sourness that has no place in a modern Wales.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 18, 2011
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