Great Britain won't compete at Rio 2016 after opposition to FA plan

Tuesday March 31st, 2015

The English Football Association said that Great Britain will not field soccer teams at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after it failed to gain support from the other three home federations, reports the BBC.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have opposed creating united British men's and women's teams, saying their independent statuses would be risked within FIFA. 

The FA informed the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations on Monday for their decision to scrap plans for a united team. 

Scotland agreed to make available its players for the British team and send those who made the squad to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

A united Britain ended up fielding both men's and women's soccer teams at the 2012 games, competing in the competition after a 52-year absence. Both squads were eliminated in quarterfinal stage.

STRAUS & CREDITOR: USA vs. Switzerland Preview

FIFA vice president Jim Boyce had said he had been given "an absolute categorical reassurance" by FIFA that Great Britain teams would only be allowed to compete in the Olympics if all of the home nations agreed.

The plans for a united team faced heavy opposition from the start. Football Association of Wales president Trefor Lloyd Hughes had said he was "livid" with the reform plans.

- Scooby Axson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.