May 29, 2009

According to a various report emanating from the British media, an accord has been reached which would allow Great Britain to be represented at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Apparently, the Football Associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have written to FIFA to confirm they are happy for a U.K. team to be fielded, provided only English players are selected.

"I think the English are going to go it alone," Scottish FA spokesman Rob Shorthouse is quoted as saying by the BBC.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been wary of allowing Great Britain to be represented as they fear they it could threaten their independence as separate footballing nations.

"We have not been able to come to a common agreement because England want to take part and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't," said Shorthouse. Our stance has not changed. We will not be taking part in Team GB. England do want to go ahead. They are under unique pressure with the Olympics being in their home country.

"The debate is around whether we make a real issue about England going alone," he continued. "[Scotland has] to preserve our independent status as a member of FIFA. We are sticking to our guns.

However, it seems that there should be a men's and women's under-23 team for the Olympics. Rules also allow three players aged 24 and over to compete.

An official announcement is expected to be made at the FIFA Congress which is being held between June 2-3.

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