Belfast Telegraph

Football Association are forced to drop Team GB idea

By Martyn Ziegler

The Football Association have expressed disappointment after being forced to scrap plans to enter British men's and women's teams for the Rio 2016 Olympics after opposition from the other home nations.

The FA had told Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they were intending to enter teams for Rio, provoking criticism.

An FA spokesman confirmed the plan has now been dropped, saying: "After careful discussion, The FA have decided not to enter either a women's or a men's team into the Rio Olympics 2016.

"We are disappointed not to be able to go ahead, given the fantastic opportunity it would have afforded the players and the broader exposure it would have brought to the game in our countries."

Fifa had made it clear that all four home nations would have to agree for the plan to be ratified. In light of that, the FA's director of football services Jonathan Hall contacted the other British associations on Monday to inform them the plan had now been dropped.

Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce said last week: "I was given an absolute categorical reassurance from Fifa that unless full agreement could be reached between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there would be no GB team participating at next year's Olympics.''

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