/ Olympics

Fury over British Olympic soccer team claim

Updated: Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 21:33

Confusion reigns over the status of Great Britain soccer team at the 2012 Olympics
Confusion reigns over the status of Great Britain soccer team at the 2012 Olympics

The British Olympic Association's claim that they had reached agreement to field a Great Britain football team at the London Olympics next year were ridiculed by among others Northern Irishman Jim Boyce, vice-president of world governing body FIFA.

The BOA had announced a deal had been done but that claim was clearly denied by the Welsh while the Scots had made it clear that a deal was unlikely given the attitude of their players.

Boyce, a former president of the Irish FA and recently-elected FIFA vice-president, said that news of a deal came as a great surprise.

'The three associations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have made it clear to me they will not be changing their decision about a British Olympic team and I know nothing about any agreement,' said Boyce.

Phil Pritchard, president of the Welsh FA, was furious at the BOA announcement.

'We're not part of any agreement. The FA have no authority to speak on our behalf, they do not represent us,' he said.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said the deal was a figment of the BOA's imagination.

'The FAW can confirm that no agreement has been reached with regards Team GB and the 2012 London Olympics as announced by the BOA,' he said.

Former SFA president George Peat said: 'I am absolutely astounded that they have put out this statement. I know nothing about any such agreement and we want nothing to do with this tournament.'

Welsh FA president Phil Pritchard was equally furious, saying the FA had no right to speak on behalf of the other associations on Olympic matters.

Their fury had been provoked by a statement released by the BOA earlier on Tuesday.

'Consistent with requirements set out in the Olympic Charter, the selection criteria will be entirely non-discriminatory, as players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other territories which fall under the BOA's remit, who meet the approved competitive standard will be eligible for consideration and selection.

'The FA has consulted with its partner associations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in developing the player-selection criteria and timeline.'

Officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have long been opposed to their players taking part in a British team, fearing it will be the start of a process that ends with them no longer recognised as independent football nations by global governing body FIFA.

Live!

Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

Send in Your Photos

Support Team Ireland! Submit your photos