Welsh Talent at the Olympic Games

By , Posted on 4th November 2011 - Posted in: Football News, News

Craig Bellamy’s assertion that the best of young Welsh talent should be allowed to represent team Great Britain at next summer’s Olympic Games has caused consternation in certain quarters of the principality.

The Welsh FA, like their Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, are not keen on the idea at all. They feel a united team of combined British players puts them on the slippery slope to the knackers yard. The feeling is that FIFA are waiting for any chance to strip the UK of it’s four independent governing bodies thus diluting the political influence British football still wields at international level. The various associations fear it will lead to the demise of their respective national sides.

In short, the reasoning goes that if we can field a combined British team at the Olympics then we may be expected to do so for the European Championships and the World Cup.

For their part FIFA have issued a statement denying that this is on the agenda, but nonetheless as things stand at present GB manager (and Englishman) Stuart Pearce may be faced with delicate selection problems he’d rather not have. Does he pick his players from an English pool only, or can he put together a truly British side?

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, two of Welsh football’s brightest young stars, have already declared their willingness to play under the GB flag, prompting the public endorsement of senior team mate Bellamy. They have even been photographed wearing the newly designed strip. If top players from Scotland and Northern Ireland make similar overtures then some sort of stand off seems inevitable between these players and their national associations.

With Britain trying to show the world it can host a major sporting festival such a cloud hanging over the football side would be disappointing to say the least.

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