Belfast Telegraph

FA reiterate Games selection policy

The Football Association have reacted swiftly to confirm no player selected for Euro 2012 will be picked for the Great Britain Olympic team later this summer.

GB coach Stuart Pearce trimmed his squad to 80 players earlier this week. However, in noting that he could potentially lose 10 players to the Games, including Spain's David De Gea and Javier Hernandez, who is set to be picked by Mexico, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his displeasure, claiming it will leave his pre-season plans in chaos.

The FA have tried to calm such concerns, outlining the selection policy that will frame Pearce's Olympic squad, and Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said: "Any player who travels to Euro 2012 with England will not be considered for the Olympic GB team. This position has not changed."

Bevington added: "The original long list of players was reduced to 80 players last week and a final 18-man squad will be announced very soon after the Euro squad is selected in May to assist player and clubs with their planning for next season.

"The list of 80 players does include players who are regulars in the England squad and they remain on the Team GB list until England's Euro squad is finalised. If they are selected for Poland and Ukraine they will not be available for the Olympics."

In a sense, Pearce has been handicapped by the ongoing uncertainly over the England squad. With no manager in place, it is impossible to assess the make-up of the European Championship squad.

Therefore, whilst it is thought almost certain Wayne Rooney will be in Poland and Ukraine, even though he is suspended for England's opening two games, he has been left on the Olympics list just in case.

Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley are more obvious candidates for both as they all meet the selection criteria, meaning if they do not make the European Championship squad, Pearce would want them at the Olympics.

The FA said earlier this week there would be no barrier placed on the number of players per team Pearce could select, although they are hoping the former England skipper's relationship with various club managers could soothe any tensions.

Ferguson though appears to have taken the opportunity to warn the FA about messing clubs about as he told various newspapers: "It's ridiculous, utter chaos. I have no idea how badly other clubs are affected but I would imagine Tottenham will have a few, like Gareth Bale. Aston Villa have a lot of younger players as well - that is all Alex McLeish needs."


From Belfast Telegraph