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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Why avoid the easy answer to Team GB at the 2012 Olympics?

There are reports that FIFA is to allow a British team to compete at the Olympics without affecting the beaurocratic meetings that the home nations consider so important to belong to. This of course being the real reason that the Scottish FA so vociferously object to an Olympic team.

Part of the argument against Team GB has been that Scotland would risk its participation in the World Cup by associating itself with 'Britain'. This is of course arrant nonsense, Scotland has a long established club and country tradition that is separate from England - why would this be affected? If Andorra can play its home games in Spain without complaint, and San Marino can be considered a nation state then why on earth would Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland ever be considered more lowly?

As to whether football should even be at the olympics, well that is another argument entirely.

As football is an age limit based tournament at the Olypics these days (2012 will probably be under-23 again) there is far less certainty that the best players will all be English, Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal will be 21, for example.

But as I've noted before if the various home nations don't want their players to play on the same pitch as those nasty English boys, why not arrange an under-22 home championship for the summer of 2011 and let the winner represent Team GB in London 2012. And, as in curling, if the best are Scottish then they become Team GB.

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