A Great Britain Football team does not exist and has not since the team failed to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in Munich 1972. Why? Because Great Britain is a United Kingdom made up of four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each of these Nations has its own National Football Team, and National Football League and are recognised as individual Nations by Footballs World Governing body, FIFA
The Hurdles To A United Great Britain Team
There have been recent negotiations between FIFA, The British Olympic Association and all the football nations that make up Great Britain. These negotiations have not gone well!
FIFA seem to have little problem with a united Great Britain Olympic Football Team competeing in the Football 2012. The British Olympic Association also have expressed a wish to make it happen. However, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland simply do not want to be involved, fearing the dilution of their own football sovereignty. This problem was highlighted as recently as The Summer Olympic Games of Beijing 2008. The English Women’s Football Team qualified, due to their performances at the previous years World Cup, but they were denied a place at the Olympics because the other three football nations of Great Britain refused to give their consent.
There have been recent moves that suggest there will be a football team from Great Britain at London 2012. The nations that wish not to compete as an untied team have suggested that England, under the English Football Association, could compete.
Under the rules of competing England would have to choose a squad of English players, under 23 with 3 players allowed to be older than that. England does have a very talented Under 21 team, flying out to the Under 21 World Championships as we speak and if allowed to compete this team would be one of the favourites to win.
Yet More ProblemsSo Great Britain, or England, do compete in the Olympics, this is great; but how would the hugely influential top flight football clubs feel about releasing their valuable players?
The Olympics will be on when the English Football season has just started and the football season will carry on the whole time the Olympics is on. Also most of the top players from these clubs would have also just competed in the national European Football Championships in June. So if you were Alex Ferguson (Manchester United Manager) would you want Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) competing, when he should be playing for his club? The same would apply for mangers of football players such as Kieron Gibbs and Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) and one of the worlds most expensive players Andy Carroll (Liverpool). Even as recently as this week in mid May 2011, Jack Wilshere has been reportedly persuaded to drop out of the European Under 21 Football Championships by his manager Arsene Wenger.
The Final Team?David Beckham has suggested he would like to compete and he will be eligible, but the rest of the team could include players from the lower leagues of the English league. This could be a very sad compromise.
So if you fancy a go, and you are English and you don’t play for a top club and you are under 23 then please write to the English FA and you never know….?
Check out the profiles of some of the players mentioned and please add your own. Also I would love to hear who you would pick if all the Great Britain home nations competed and the clubs played ball.