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No, not the ideal comparison, but still a marked contrast. It simply shouldn't be as difficult as it has been to put together an U23 team of British players for a one off event.

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Gareth Bale wants to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics as he may not qualify for a major international tournament with Wales.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland do not want their players to compete as they fear it could compromise their international football independence.

Fifa have reassured the home nations about contributing to a British team but no association want to risk it.

"I want to play in the Olympics," said the Tottenham Hotspur winger.

"I think it would be a great experience.

"At the moment Wales haven't qualified for a major tournament in I don't know how many years so it would be nice to play in one against the best countries in the world.

"You see it with the British and Irish Lions in the rugby, they come together as a unit and play against other countries. It's great and there's no reason why that can't happen with the football."


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I wish they announce the roster for the GB soccer team. I'm glad that British and Irish will be in Rugby in 2016.

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  • 3 months later...

Football stars set for Olympic Village

Footballers in the Great Britain Olympic team, possibly including David Beckham, will spend some of next summer's London 2012 Games staying in the Olympic Village.

The Football Association, who have been appointed to oversee the teams by the British Olympic Association, have decided that the men's and women's teams will live for part of the Games alongside other Team GB athletes in the Village.

Players will be expected to share rooms there and eat in the communal dining hall along with other British athletes.

The players will not spend the whole tournament in the Village however as they are playing matches in different parts of the country including Old Trafford and Cardiff as well as at Wembley.

It is understood that the FA are likely to announce the appointments of Stuart Pearce as the men's Olympic team coach and Hope Powell as women's coach in the next few weeks.

The men's tournament is for players aged under 23 but three overage players are permitted per squad.

A long list of players will be announced in November - this is almost certain to include potential members of England's Euro 2012 squad but they unlikely to be in the 18-man final group if they are involved in the European tournament.

Beckham's main hope is that he is chosen as one of the overage players because he looks set to miss out on Euro 2012.

Despite opposition to a Team GB from the other home nations, Wales stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are certainties for the squad, as is Manchester United's Northern Irish defender Jonny Evans. Liverpool's Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam could be called up as another overage player.

It is expected the Olympic sides will play two friendlies before the Games.


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The International Olympic Committee tells INSIDER African football boss Issa Hayatou, who was yesterday appointed by FIFA to chair the organising committee for the London 2012 Olympic football tournaments, is still under investigation over corruption allegations.

"The ethics commission acts independently of the IOC, but my understanding is that those mentioned in the BBC programme are still under investigation and no formal report has yet been sent to the IOC's executive board," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told INSIDER.

Made aware that the IOC was still investigating Hayatou, FIFA declined to comment to INSIDER about the issue.


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^ Fifa...sigh :rolleyes:

FIFA were on Wednesday night forced to back-track on statements that African football leader Issa Hayatou has been appointed to head the Olympic football tournament in London.

The sport's world governing body had earlier confirmed that Hayatou, who is still under investigation by the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission over corruption allegations, had been appointed as chairman of both the organising committee for Olympic football tournaments and of the GOAL Bureau that distributes money for development projects.

FIFA's website also listed Hayatou as the new chairman in the list of committees. In an embarrassing about-turn, however, FIFA said Hayatou has not been appointed to the positions.

A statement from the world governing body said: "Due to a technical error, appointments for FIFA Standing Committees have appeared on the FIFA website. The appointments for the chairman and deputy chairman of the FIFA standing committees will be communicated in due course.

"Therefore, Issa Hayatou has not been appointed as chairman of the organising committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments."

FIFA later confirmed that neither has he been made chairman of the GOAL Bureau, a position which has become vacant following the life ban handed to Mohamed Bin Hammam for bribery.



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FIFA names Zhang Jilong to lead Olympic committee

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has appointed Chinese official Zhang Jilong to chair next Monday's meeting of the Olympic football tournament's organizing committee.

Zhang's appointment comes three weeks after African football president Issa Hayatou, an International Olympic Committee member, was mistakenly announced in the job.

FIFA says Zhang must be confirmed in the Olympic role by the executive committee three days later.

Zhang, the interim Asian Football Confederation president, previously helped run football events for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

FIFA blamed a technical error for its website listing Hayatou to head its Olympic panel. The IOC ethics commission is investigating Hayatou over allegations he took kickbacks from FIFA's former marketing partner.


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I wish this politicking with Scotland, Wales, and Nothern Ireland is over. And also wish that corruption is over too. I want to see some Olympic Football (soccer)in action.

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I wish this politicking with Scotland, Wales, and Nothern Ireland is over. And also wish that corruption is over too. I want to see some Olympic Football (soccer)in action.

With all due respect, when you say Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are "politickcing", it comes off a little condescending in my opinion. These 3 nations are sovereign football powers and as such, don't have to agree to anything when all is said and Done. But they all did sign a respectful, joint letter to FIFA and are happy for England to 'go it alone' with regards the GB football team. It's a question of whether that route is employed or not.

One of the things which I feel has amplified this situation is the portrayal of the Scots,Welsh and Irish as acting 'anti-England'. Many newspapers in England to be blunt, fail to acknowledge the genuine concerns which these nations have with regards the GB team and how their own footballing sovereignty could be hampered if they created a joint GB team for the Olympics.

Although the 2012 Olympics are the UK's, it's manifestly obvious that given how the Olympics will be taking place in the physical location of London and therefore England, the English have a stronger desire to field a team and compete. That's obvious to all. Further, England has a 50million+ population thus feels less threatened by future FIFA actions than smaller nations like Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.That has to be acknowledged too.

It's a complicated issue and one which will ultimately annoy some sections of the UK of which football really is like a religion.But given that each UK nation is sovereign with regards to football, it's an issue which cannot be resolved without any aggro unfortunately. And add to that FIFA's dodgy dealings, it further compounds any decision taken and adds another layer of drama to it.

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The way the English are getting behind Wales supporting them for the Rugby is something really wonderful and something the whole of the UK can learn from in my opinion. Lets hope everyone can come together and field a team we can be proud of

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Pearce wants British players in Olympic team

LONDON — Stuart Pearce is hopeful his squad for the 2012 Olympics will include footballers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after he was confirmed as manager of the Great Britain team on Thursday.

The England Under-21 coach was formally unveiled as the man to lead Britain's Olympic campaign at a press conference at Wembley in an appointment that had long been predicted across English football.

But Pearce faces a challenge in pulling together a squad for the tournament, with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations all opposing a British team at the Olympics on the grounds it may threaten their independent status in the international game.

Although it remains unclear whether the football associations concerned can block their players from playing, Pearce is optimistic that footballers from all four nations will make up the British squad.


Asked about Beckham, who will be 37 when the tournament kicks off, Pearce replied: "It's like everything -- everyone will be up for selection, form and fitness will dictate whoever I decide to pick.

"I've not seen him (Beckham) play recently. He's a bit too old for the Under-21s so he's not been on my radar."

Meanwhile former England international Hope Powell was named as coach of the women's team at the Olympics.


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Bale’s Olympic shirt pose angers FAW chief as London 2012 row escalates


FAW president Phil Pritchard has expressed his disappointment at Gareth Bale’s decision to pose in a “Team GB” shirt as the Olympics football row escalated last night.

Publicity shots of Wales star Bale in the striking blue shirt were released yesterday – despite on-going opposition from the Football Association of Wales at a combined British side taking part in next year’s London Games.

Although manufacturers adidas were keen to point out Bale was modelling a commemorative shirt released for supporters to celebrate Team GB, rather than the actual kit to be worn for the Olympic tournament, it has nevertheless been seen by unhappy Wales fans as an endorsement of a unified side.

A British Olympic Association spokesperson claimed the Spurs ace was a natural choice to model the kit, despite the political sensitivities.

And it has angered Welsh football chief Pritchard, who insisted the controversial decision to use Bale comes after what he described as an “appalling” series of events that have ignored FAW wishes.

“The FAW’s stance is exactly the same. As far as we’re concerned, there is no agreement with England for there to be any involvement,” Pritchard told the Western Mail.

“I am a big believer that people are entitled to their views, but they should also consider the implications to others rather than just themselves.

“Am I disappointed by it (Bale)? Yes I am. There are times when you have to stand up for your country.

“Let me make it absolutely clear, I am not against Welsh involvement in the Games.

“I’d be delighted to enter a team of our own and have no objections to England having a team of their own. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.”

Concerned by the implications on their footballing independence, the FAW, along with their Scotland and Northern Ireland counterparts, had agreed to clear the path for a team to enter the Olympics by allowing England to field a side under the banner of Team GB.

However, the BOA and the FA issued a joint statement in June suggesting an agreement had been reached that would allow Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish players to take part.

The FAW accept they have no means to prevent their players taking part if they wish to upon selection, but there is a sense the association are being railroaded into accepting something they are clearly against.

And Pritchard added: “I think England (sic) have been more than naughty with some of their actions.

“They have not spoken to us and there is no agreement with any of the three other nations. In my own personal view, it is appalling.”

The BOA have given the English FA the right to administer the proposed Team GB, their first major decision coming last week with the appointment of Stuart Pearce as manager.

Pearce indicated then he would be prepared to pick players from any of the Home Nations.

And, on the release of yesterday’s photo, a BOA spokesman said: “We have maintained all along that Team GB will allow for the consideration, and possible inclusion, of players from any of the Home Nations.

“So it only makes sense that Gareth would appear in the photo.”

A spokesman for Bale – who has previously outlined his wish to play for Team GB – said that while the player was “100% Welsh, he is also British”.

The FAW have been left hoping that the congested fixture schedule next summer will see clubs block their players taking part in what is essentially an age-grade tournament.

But Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has said he would not prevent Bale from taking part at London 2012 if he wished to. “To play in the Olympic Games in England, I think it would be a great honour for any player,” said Redknapp.

But Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay said he would not be prepared to be so accommodating, claiming: “There are so many logistical problems concerning the type of team that would be put out.

“Obviously I want my players fit and ready to go for the start of the season.

“If that impairs or overlaps it then no (to wanting my players involved) is the answer to that.”

Wales Online

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Team GB football fixtures announced

London 2012 organisers have confirmed the dates of the Team GB football side's group stage fixtures, with the men's team set to appear in Cardiff, Manchester and London.

Coached by Stuart Pearce, they will begin their Olympic campaign at Old Trafford on Thursday July 26, followed by fixtures at Wembley Stadium on Sunday July 29 and the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday Aug 1.

Hope Powell's women's team will begin the tournament with back-to-back fixtures at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, July 25 and Saturda,y July 28 before moving to Wembley Stadium for their final group game on Tuesday Aug 3.

As neither team will play group matches at Glasgow's Hampden Park Scotland supporters may miss out on the unique experience of seeing Team GB perform on Scottish soil.

Locog has more than 1.5 million football tickets still to sell so the release of Team GB's fixtures is a timely one given that the official draw does not take place until April 24.


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