x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

British team in 2012 likely to be all-English: minister

Britain may field a football team made up entirely of English players at the 2012 London Olympics.

LONDON // Britain may field a football team made up entirely of English players at the 2012 London Olympics. Gerry Sutcliffe, Britain's sports minister, said yesterday that Britain needed representation in the Olympic football tournament. And that they would have to send just English players if football associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continued to oppose the idea of a British national side.

The associations fear participation could jeopardise their independence and voting rights in Fifa, even though the world governing body have given a written assurance that a British team would not threaten the interests of the individual associations. Sutcliffe, however, said: "There has always been, and will continue to be, a threat to that individuality because of the way Fifa is evolving. "It [an all-English team] is the sad fact of what is going to happen unless we can try and resolve this issue," he added.

* AP