One team for four nations at Olympic football 2012

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may end its 'exile' from the Olympic football tournament by entering men's and women's teams in the London Games in 2012, Soccer Investor reported (2 Oct). In international football, the UK is traditionally represented by the independent football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - the first four football associations in soccer history - and has not fielded a team for the Olympic qualifying competition since 1972.

British Olympic Association chief executive Simon Clegg said a British women's team could play at the 2008 Games in Beijing, if they qualified via England's current World Cup campaign. "The men's team now is not an issue in terms of Beijing, but my principle in terms of aspiration for 2012 is obviously to field the strongest possible team," Clegg said. "The [England] Football Association is fully behind this and the possibility of contributing to the medal table of 2012.” Britain won the Olympic football tournament when it hosted the Games in London in 1908 and took gold again in 1912 in Stockholm.

See also: Changes for British football in 2012 Olympics (2 Sept 05)