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British Soccer Teams In Beijing 2008


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There hasn't been a British soccer team in the Olympic men's soccer tournament in more than a generation or two, and no British women's team has qualified for the women's Olympic tournaments to this day.

But there is a strong chance that that all could change. Or will it?

England's under-19 squad has joined Belgium, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Serbia in the finals of the under-19 Euros. England's elite women's team has qualified for the upcoming women's World Cup in China. The top four teams at under-19 Euros will compete at the Beijing Olympics on the men's side, and the top three European teams at the World Cup will advance to the women's Olympic tournament.

Should one or both English teams qualify for the Olympics, will they be able to go? The British NOC is the only one in the world that can't field a soccer team for the Olympics these days because all four home nations of the UK have their own FIFA-recognized governing bodies. Already, there is controversy over what should be done for London 2012 in this regard. But if the English women's team and men's under-19 team gain spots in the Olympic tournament (which could happen), would they have to forfeit their spots to other teams due to the fact that there is no British central authority for soccer? Or could something be arranged that would allow the English teams to compete as in the Olympics?

What do you think?

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I think we'll have done extremely well to be among the top three European sides at the women's World Cup this summer, so I'm not sure that problem will arise.

The European Under-19 Championship is a different situation though. There has been controversy about a GB team for 2012, but that is going to go ahead whether or not all of the home nations are going to take part. If we qualify for Beijing, and it's no guarantee, then I see no reason why we couldn't play in the context of Sepp Blatter's guarantees regarding home nation independence.

I'm sure that if Scotland's performance in reaching the final of this Championship two years ago meant Olympic qualification, a GB team for Beijing would have been a certainty.

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They won't be a men's UK team for Beijing, FIFA already announced that if England finish in the top 4 of the EUFA U-19, a fifth-place play-off will determine Europe's forth qualifier. On the women's side, I believe that the UK will field a women's team if England is to qualify, but I am not 100% sure of that.

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That is, indeed, another story. But hey, its a FIFA Worldcup, everything can happen. The draw could also be a big factor.

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They won't be a men's UK team for Beijing, FIFA already announced that if England finish in the top 4 of the EUFA U-19, a fifth-place play-off will determine Europe's forth qualifier.

I hadn't heard that. It would be a shame if it came to that, though.

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