English Premiership

Team GB to play at the Olympics

2015-03-03 11:05
Rio Olympic Games logo (Getty Images)

London - The English Football Association plans to send men's and women's Great Britain teams to the Olympics Games in Rio next year.

The FA initially ruled out entering teams but has now written to the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Football Associations informing them of their intention and asking if they would like to take part.

"We have received confirmation from the FA of their intention to enter into the qualification process for Rio 2016 for both men and women's tournaments," a British Olympic Association (BOA) spokesperson said on Monday.

The move has caused frustration among the other home nations, particularly at the Football Association of Wales (FAW), who fear it may threaten their separate status. But it remains to be seen whether they can block the move, which will have to be agreed by FIFA.

Team GB teams played at the London 2012 Olympics with players from a variety of the home nations despite three associations refusing to officially take part.

Five Wales internationals including Ryan Giggs and Aaron Ramsey were selected for Team GB in 2012, but the rest of the squad were English, while there were two Scots in the 18-strong women's squad.

It is understood the FA is particularly keen on a women's team in a bid to develop the sport in Britain.

The top four in the men's European Under-21 tournament qualify for the Olympics, as do the top three European teams in the women's World Cup.

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  soccer
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