Home nations reach Olympics deal
Footballers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England will be available for selection for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games after an "historic agreement" was announced by the British Olympic Association on Tuesday.
There has been opposition to all-British teams taking part in the Olympic Games from all the home nations apart from England, but the BOA said an agreement has been reached.
A BOA statement said: "Consistent with requirements set out in the Olympic Charter, the selection criteria will be entirely non-discriminatory, as players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other territories which fall under the BOA's remit, who meet the approved competitive standard will be eligible for consideration and selection.
The statement continued: "The FA has consulted with its partner associations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in developing the player-selection criteria and timeline."
A 'long list' of players will be drawn up by the managers of the men's and women's teams and they will each be asked to confirm their availability. This will then be reduced to a shortlist and an announcement of the two squads will follow in the summer of 2012.
The announcement sparked outrage from the Scottish and Welsh FAs, who were joined by their Northern Irish counterparts in expressing their opposition to the Olympic teams and their disappointment at the BOA's announcement.
The statement, signed by SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford and IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson says: "The Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reiterate our collective opposition to Team GB participation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, contrary to the media release issued by the British Olympic Association.
"We have been consistently clear in explaining the reason for our stance, principally to protect the identity of each national association. With that in mind, we cannot support nor formally endorse the approach that has been proposed by the Football Association.
"We have stressed this in communications to them and are disappointed that this has been ignored in the media release. No discussions took place with any of us, far less historic agreement been reached, prior to the statement from the BOA being released.
"The Associations are committed to supporting the individual Home Nations playing all representative football under their respective flags as independent members of FIFA and UEFA. This position has been endorsed by supporters of all Home Nations, who have been consulted throughout this process."