Sebastian Coe hopes that world number two Rory McIlroy will compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics despite the high-pressure decision still to be made about who he should represent at the Games.

The 23 year-old Irishman, who might be eligible for selection by either Britain or Ireland, could opt out for fear of upsetting people with his choice.

British Olympic Association (BOA) chairman Coe said they are waiting for the eligibility criteria to be finalised.

He said: "As somebody who has welcomed golf in to the Olympic family I think that most of us want to see the best players playing. I hope that Rory is there."

McIlroy has played for Ireland at amateur level and World Cup level.

Mark England, the BOA's Games services director, said information is being gathered about a range of issues including McIlroy's previous participation for Ireland.

"We are fact finding at the moment and waiting to hear back about those facts," he said.

Speaking last year, McIlroy said: "Whatever decision I make, whether that's play for Ireland, play for Britain, not play at all maybe just because I don't want to upset too many people...."

Asked if not playing was a genuine possibility, McIlroy added: "For sure it's definitely an option. I've got three options; I either play for one side or the other or I don't play."

Golf makes its return to Olympic competition at Rio 2016 after last appearing at the Games in 1904.

Back then only the United States and Canada were the competing nations while at least 30 countries are expected to be represented in both the men's and women's competitions at the 2016 Games.

The proposed Olympic competition for both men and women is a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament with the lowest score earning the gold medal.

In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff will determine the medal winners.